Colorado (19-10) at Oregon State (16-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 3, 4:00 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gill Coliseum (10,400) -- Corvallis, Oregon. Television: FSN. Home Record: Colorado 11-5, OSU 11-5. Away Record: Colorado 4-7, OSU 4-7. Neutral Record: Colorado 1-1, OSU 1-1. Conference Record: Colorado 11-6, OSU 6-11. Series Record: Colorado leads, 7-2.
GAME NOTES: The regular season comes to a close for a pair of Pac-12 foes today in Oregon, when the Beavers host the Buffaloes of Colorado at Gill Coliseum.
Colorado will be going for back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in the program's history this afternoon, although the Buffaloes have struggled lately. The squad has dropped decisions in two out of their last three, including a hard-fought 90-81 final at Oregon on Thursday night that left Colorado with an 11-6 mark in league play.
As for Oregon State, the Beavers must be happy to see February disappear from the calendar, as the club went 1-6 and ended the month mired in a five-game losing streak. That skid was snapped on Thursday, when the Beavers posted a 77-67 victory over Utah, improving to 16-13 overall.
Colorado leads, 7-2, in terms of the all-time series between the two programs.
Colorado shot 54.5 percent from the field against Oregon, but the squad hit just 5-of-17 from long range compared to an 8-for-14 three-point effort by the Ducks. The Buffaloes also sent Oregon to the charity stripe 27 times during the meeting, with the Ducks making good on 20 of those opportunities. The Buffaloes were guilty of a game-high 15 turnovers in the nine-point loss as well, and were bested in the battle of the boards by a 29-25 margin. Carlon Brown scored 20 points to pace the Buffaloes in the losing effort, while Andre Roberson and Spencer Dinwiddie finished with 12 points each. Nate Tomlinson got into the mix as well, logging 12 points for Colorado. The Buffaloes are shooting at a respectable 44.6 percent clip as a team up to this point, with Brown currently leading the way on offense with a 12.1 points per game contribution. He is joined in double figures by Austin Dufault and his 11.2 ppg mark. Roberson has been responsible for 11.1 points to go with a team- leading 11.3 rebounds per contest, and Dinwiddie checks in with a healthy 10.7 ppg tally. The Buffaloes average 68.6 ppg this year, and have held it together at the other end of the court by yielding just 63.1 ppg to the opposition. Opponents are shooting only 40.4 percent from the field against Colorado, and that includes a meager 33.0 percent conversion rate from three-point range. The Buffaloes own a 36.6 - 32.5 rpg advantage over their adversaries as well, and also boast a +2.2 turnover margin.
The Beavers controlled the meeting with Utah from start to finish, jumping out to a commanding 36-15 halftime lead thanks to a stifling defensive effort that saw OSU hold Utah to just 5-of-23 from the floor and force 10 turnovers. Utah picked up the pace considerably during the second stanza and shot at a blistering 69.2 percent clip, but OSU countered with a 50.0 percent effort from the floor and a 10-for-13 effort at the foul line over the final 20 minutes en route to a 10-point win. Jared Cunningham posted a game-high 17 points to lead the way for OSU, which also got 13 points apiece from Ahmad Starks and Joe Burton. Devon Collier chipped in 10 points as well for the Beavers, while Eric Moreland finished with just nine points but pulled down a game-high 13 boards. The Beavers have been an offense-heavy program this season, tallying a whopping 79.5 ppg and shooting at an impressive 46.9 percent clip. However, the Beavers often find themselves in trouble due to a rather lax effort at the other end of the court that has allowed opponents to net 73.0 ppg. Oddly enough, OSU forces an average of 17.3 turnovers per contest up to this point, but the opposition is also shooting at a respectable 38.5 percent pace from beyond the arc. The Beavers own three players with a double-digit scoring average, beginning with Jared Cunningham and his 18.3 ppg. Collier follows (12.9 ppg), while Starks rounds out the trio with 12.2 ppg to go with a team-high 78 assists.
A high-powered offense (Oregon State) meeting a stingy defense (Colorado) isn't exactly going to break any new ground in terms of a story line. However, the Buffaloes can put points on the board too, which may be an aspect of their game OSU is not prepared to counter, given their defensive holes. It's not easy winning on the road, but if the Buffaloes can limit turnovers, that's exactly what they'll do.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Colorado 85, Oregon State 80
03/03 10:43:38 ET