BOULDER, Colo. — This time, there was no collapse or controversy that would sting Colorado with a bitterness that was hard to shake. This time, there were fans storming the court in celebration.
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 21 points and freshman Xavier Johnson added a season-high 19 points and nine rebounds as Colorado avenged a painful overtime loss at Arizona with a 71-58 rout of the ninth-ranked Wildcats on Thursday night.
On Jan. 3, the Buffaloes’ apparent game-winning 3-pointer in Tucson was waived off at the end of regulation even though replays showed Sabatino Chen’s shot was taken in time. The smarting Buffaloes got smoked in overtime, then went into a prolonged funk, dropping three of their next four.
“Of course, we were disappointed in ourselves for the way we closed it out and it goes without saying that we were disappointed with the call at the end," Dinwiddie said. “Of course, this was a revenge game."
His coach would disagree, but certainly the student section that emptied onto the floor would side with Dinwiddie.
The Buffaloes (17-7, 7-5 Pac-12) have won six of seven, and this win over the Wildcats was by far their most impressive yet. They played stingy defense, moved the ball efficiently, held their own on the boards and controlled the tempo from tip-off to buzzer.
“What makes this win sweet is it has nothing to do with revenge," Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “It has everything to do with the respect I have for Arizona and Sean Miller and their basketball program. We beat a top-10 team in the country that’s legitimate and they’re going to win a lot of games as this season unfolds."
Also on Thursday:
No. 5 Gonzaga 77
Saint Mary’s 60
MORAGA, Calif. — Gary Bell Jr. scored 20 points and helped fuel a fast start to the second half that helped Gonzaga take a stranglehold on the West Coast Conference race with a victory over Saint Mary’s.
No. 12 Louisville 72
St. John’s 58
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Russ Smith scored 21 second-half points, including 12 straight over a 3:03 stretch that put Louisville ahead for good and helped the Cardinals beat St. John’s.
No. 13 Ohio State 69
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Deshaun Thomas scored 22 points and Ohio State used a late 12-0 run to beat Northwestern, the Buckeyes’ 32nd consecutive home win against the Wildcats.
No. 20 Wisconsin 53
MINNEAPOLIS — Andre Hollins hit the go-ahead 3-pointer midway through overtime to finish with 21 points and led Minnesota to the victory.
BERKELEY, Calif. — David Kravish had 18 points and 13 rebounds, Richard Solomon added 17 points and eight rebounds, and California eased past UCLA.
STANFORD, Calif. — Jio Fontan scored 15 points and Southern California survived a late rally by Stanford to win.