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Colorado 67 – Colorado State 62

December 4, 2013

In a game that felt much like a prizefight, the Buffaloes of Boulder delivered the final blows allowing to leave Moby Gym with a famous victory over in-state rivals Colorado State.

The two teams probed and exchanged jabs early as neither team could do anything but score at the rim or the free throw line. After 12 minutes the score stood at 12-12.

And then the Buffs delivered the first big punch as they came out of a media timeout with a full court press that forced the Rams into a bad turnover resulting in a 3-ball, a hurried shot that the Buffs countered with a quick jumped and the Buffs had pushed into a quick 19-12 lead. CSU was on the deck but a quick timeout and a visit to their corner got them righted.

And the Rams responded with a series of jabs, hooks and crosses as they went on a sustained 22-11 run to close out the half with a 34-30 lead.

The game continued close for the entire second half as CSU forced their way inside and the Buffs countered with some easy hoops as the Rams left their guard down allowing easy transition baskets.

With just over 4 minutes remaining, the Buffs’ Spencer Dinwiddie took the game into his hands and delivered,the blows that were to win the close decision on points. Dinwiddie delivered 7 points on lay ups and free throws and a key assist on a three-ball in those final minutes.

Down 5 and seemingly knocked out, the Rams fought their way back and had a free throw to tie the game with 20 seconds to go. When it missed and the Buffs grabbed the rebound, Dinwiddie killed 10 seconds before making a pair of free throws. A last second three-ball by JJ. Avila fell woefully short and the Buffs left Moby wearing the title belt.

Other Thoughts

Spencer Dinwiddie was a man among boys. 28 points on 8-14 shooting most of which were layups that he made look easy. Along with 11-11 from the line. He wrapped up the CFRL Player of the Year Award, the first of many he will receive before he is drafted in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft. He will be the 3rd Buff drafted in the first round in the past four years and he is easily the most complete of the three with a lot of game on both ends of the floor.

Colorado State committed a season high 18 turnovers. Many were forced by the Buffs as they collapsed heavily on JJ Avila when he penetrated. Several were careless. Bottom line is that CU scored 18 points off turnovers and countless other easy transition buckets off of CSU makes. CSU needed to put the Buffs continually into the halfcourt for 40 minutes and were not able to do that.

Colorado State won the battle on the glass over a CU team that was about +10 in Rebounding Margin and leading the nation in Defensive Rebounding % entering the game. CSU rebounded at a 38% on the offensive end! nearly double what CU had been giving up. JJ Avila led the Rams with 11 but Gerson Santo and Carlton Hurst were especially tough in traffic. At 6’3″ Hurst isn’t afraid to mix it up with the trees.

Final thoughts

The Buffs have clinched the CFRL title with a 3-0 record and we’re barely into December. Congrats to Tad Boyle and crew for winning the crown. I expected them to be head and shoulders above the rest of the Front Range schools and they delivered. They will have bigger fish to fry as they look to be a certain NCAA Tourney participant.

For the Rams, it’s more hard work ahead after a disappointing loss to their bitter rivals. They are so much improved since the start of the season as they play more games together.

For Larry Eustachy, I think it’s OK to give your players permission to actually put the ball in the basket when they shoot. I know how important rebounding and defense are but seeing 13% on the scoreboard 2/3 of the way thru the first half is not good.

And along those lines, where was David Cohn in the second half? I know he struggles defensively sometimes but he was a spark in the first half when the team went on their 22-11 run. 5 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist in about 12 minutes and you couldn’t find some minutes for him in the second half when Bejarano and Avila were gassed on their way to playing all 40?

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