BOULDER, Colo. — Oregon State’s ranking as one of the top shooting teams in the country took a beating Thursday night.
Josh Scott, Askia Booker and Jaron Hopkins all had 13 points, and No. 20 Colorado shut down the Beavers with a rugged defensive performance in a 64-58 victory in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.
“Colorado did a great job on our interior guys. We couldn’t get the ball down low like we normally do,” Oregon State coach Craig Robinson said.
Oregon State had come into the game ranked eighth in the nation in field goal percentage, shooting better than 50 percent, but was held to a 37.5 percent by Colorado. The Buffaloes also forced 17 turnovers that led to 25 points.
Colorado was just a little better from the field, shooting 38.2 percent against Oregon State’s 2-3 zone, though it took much better care of the ball with only seven turnovers.
“When you play a really good team like this, that’s ranked in the Top 25, you can’t make the kind of mistakes we made,” Robinson said. “In the first half, we turned the ball over too much, but we were still only down a little bit. In the second half, we would make a comeback, but didn’t do as good of a job on the boards and that was the difference.”
Oregon State out-rebounded Colorado 37-34 overall but had seven fewer rebounds than the Buffaloes in the second half.
“We weren’t very efficient against their defense, but I think it speaks a lot about our team and our guys that we were able to win,” Scott said. “We weren’t shooting the ball that well. But we rebounded and got stops when we needed to. It was good for us.”
Scott had 10 rebounds for Colorado (12-2, 1-0), which matched its best start since 1979-80 when the Buffaloes also opened 12-2. Colorado remained unbeaten in 10 games at the Coors Events Center this season.
Spencer Dinwiddie had nine points, including three key free throws in the late going, for the Buffaloes.
Roberto Nelson, who is leading the league in scoring, had 23 points for Oregon State, including hitting all 10 of his free throws. Eric Moreland, reinstated after serving a season-opening suspension for a violation of team rules, had 10 rebounds for Oregon State (8-5, 0-1).
Robinson said Moreland played well in his return and bolsters Oregon State’s defense and rebounding.
“We have been missing that all season,” Robinson said. “We knew he could do that, and I love how he didn’t force much. He was getting in the flow and looking for other guys. It was terrific.”
After Colorado took a 10-point lead, Oregon State put together a 12-2 run that included a 3-pointer by Langston Morris-Walker to forge a tie at 40 with 10:35 to play.
The Buffaloes wouldn’t let them get in front, though, responding with a run of their own in which they scored 13 of the next 16 points to go up 53-43 with 6:20 remaining.
Xavier Johnson got the flurry started with a one-handed jam on an offensive rebound and Booker capped it by breaking through Oregon State’s zone for a driving layup and a putback.
The Beavers fought back within 60-56 after Malcom Duvivier drained a 3-pointer with 2:17 left.
But Oregon State failed to score another field goal and Dinwiddie made three of four free throws to help rebuild a solid lead.
In the final minute of the first half, Hopkins shook free on a fast break for a layup and Scott dunked off a feed from Dinwiddie to give Colorado a 28-23 lead.
Oregon State was held to the fewest points in a first half this season. The previous low was 26 against Coppin State on Nov. 10.
Colorado came in having tied the school record with 28 consecutive free throws made over their previous two games. The streak ended 5:30 into the game when Dustin Thomas missed the Buffaloes’ first attempt of the game.