Jan 27, 2013; Boulder, CO, USA; Colorado Buffaloes student section reacts to the first points of the game with confetti against the California Golden Bears at the Coors Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Boulder, CO (Sports Network) - The ninth-ranked Arizona Wildcats continue
their quest for the Pac-12 regular-season title, as they take on the Colorado
Buffaloes in a conference showdown at the Coors Events Center on Thursday.
Sean Miller's Wildcats relinquished sole possession of first place in the
league standings with last weekend's 77-69 home loss to California. The
setback ended a four-game win streak for Arizona, which is now tied with
Oregon atop the conference with an 8-3 record.
Tad Boyle's Buffaloes may be further down the conference ladder at 6-5, but
remain a dangerous opponent with a solid 16-7 overall record. Colorado has
played well of late with two straight victories and wins in five of their last
six games. The team moved over .500 in conference play with last weekend's
72-68 road win at Oregon State. The Buffaloes are 9-1 at home this year and an
impressive 41-5 at home under Boyle.
The Buffaloes, who hold a 10-7 series advantage, gave the Wildcats all they
could handle in Tucson on Jan. 3, falling to Arizona 92-83 in overtime.
The Wildcats fell victim to California's dynamic duo of Allen Crabbe and
Justin Cobbs, who combined for 52 points to take a key road win in Tucson.
Arizona did convert 50 percent from behind the arc (9-of-18) and committed
just nine turnovers, but could not contain Cobbs and Crabbe. Mark Lyons led
three Wildcats in double figures with 16 points in the loss. Solomon Hill and
Brandon Ashley tacked on 13 and 12 points, respectively. Ashley just missed a
double-double with a team-high nine rebounds.
The Wildcats have played well at both ends of the floor for the most part this
season and still enjoy a +11.9 scoring margin. Lyons has been the team's top
offensive threat with 15.4 ppg. Hill (14.0 ppg) and Nick Johnson (12.3 ppg)
round out the double-digit scorers on the roster. Kevin Parrom (8.2 ppg) and
Ashley (8.0 ppg) provide even more scoring depth.
The Buffaloes are not an offensive juggernaut by any stretch of the
imagination, netting a modest 69.4 ppg. However, the team is efficient,
shooting a healthy .458 from the floor. Most of that offense comes from the
starting five, with four of those players averaging double figures. Spencer
Dinwiddie currently leads the way with 14.8 ppg. Fellow guard Askia Booker is
a close second at 13.6 ppg. Josh Scott and Andre Roberson provide frontcourt
balance with 12.1 and 10.6 ppg, respectively. One of the nation's premier
rebounders, the 6-foot-7 Roberson is first in the Pac-12 and second nationally
with 11.6 rebounds per game.
The Sports Network