GAME NOTES: Back on the floor after their controversial loss to nationally- ranked Arizona on Thursday night, the Colorado Buffaloes try to move forward as they challenge the Arizona State Sun Devils in Pac-12 Conference action at Wells-Fargo Arena.
Three nights ago, the Buffs seemed to be having their way with third-ranked Arizona on the road and with time winding down and the scored tied at 80-80, Sabatino Chen banked in what should have been the game-winning 3-pointer but a video review, which appeared to be inconclusive at best, overturned the conversion. With that, Colorado went to overtime and subsequently dropped a 92-83 decision.
The loss for the Buffaloes snapped a three-game win streak by the squad and was just the third in 13 outings thus far in 2012-13.
As for the Sun Devils, they too are off to a strong start with 12 wins in 14 opportunities. Since bowing to DePaul back on Dec. 12, the program has ripped off another four wins, the most recent of those coming on Wednesday in a narrow 55-54 overtime thriller versus Utah in the conference opener.
With the victory over the Runnin' Utes, Arizona State is now 10-1 at home
Colorado won both meetings last season, the team's first as a member of the Pac-12. Prior to that the most recent affair took place in 1968 with the Buffaloes capturing a 112-81 decision in Boulder.
Except for Andre Roberson who finished with nine points and 11 rebounds, every starter for Colorado scored in double figures in the loss to Arizona. Askia Booker responded with 18 points and five assists, although he did shoot just 5-of-17 from the floor, followed by Josh Scott and Chen with 15 points apiece, while Xavier Johnson and Spencer Dinwiddie checked in with 13 and 11 points, respectively, for a squad that shot 10-of-21 from 3-point range, but just 17- of-29 at the charity stripe. Playing close to 33 minutes per contest, Booker leads the team in scoring with 15.1 ppg and along with Dinwiddie (14.2 ppg) is one of the more reliable 3-point shooters on the squad which has helped the team to make good on 40.4 percent from long-range overall. While those two set up from the outside, it is the job of Roberson to handle the action in the paint where he is clearing 12.0 rpg to go along with 11.8 ppg at the moment.
While the Sun Devils were involved in their own close call the last time out, at least their outing with Utah ended favorably with the one-point victory in overtime. Somehow Arizona State survived despite shooting only 37.1 percent from the floor, 4-of-18 beyond the arc and 5-of-10 at the free-throw line. Carrick Felix logged a double-double for the unit with 17 points and 13 rebounds, followed by Jahii Carson and Jordan Bachynski with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Despite being ranked third in the nation in blocked shots with 7.6 per game, ASU finished with just four rejections versus Utah. Bachynski, who is averaging 10.1 ppg and 7.1 rpg, is one of the nation's leaders with 60 rejections over the course of 14 games. Felix (14.8 ppg and 7.9 rpg) lends a hand with another 21 blocks and all of that action has aided the unit in limiting the competition to just 63.8 ppg on 38.6 percent shooting from the floor.
It will be tough for the Buffaloes to get the sour taste out of their mouths following the meeting with Arizona, and that could lead to a less-than-perfect effort today.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arizona State 66, Colorado 60
01/06 10:30:57 ET
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