Oregon State (8-4) at (20) Colorado (11-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 2, 10 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Coors Events Center (11,064) -- Boulder, Colorado. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: OSU 6-1, Colorado 9-0. Away Record: OSU 1-2, Colorado 2-0. Neutral Record: OSU 1-1, Colorado 0-2. Conference Record: OSU 0-0, Colorado 0-0. Series Record: Colorado leads, 9-4.
GAME NOTES: The 20th-ranked Colorado Buffaloes charge into Pac-12 play on Thursday night, as they play host to the Oregon State Beavers.
Tad Boyle's Buffaloes are an impressive 11-2 on the season, with the two losses coming to nationally-ranked foes in Baylor (72-60) and Oklahoma State (78-73). The team picked up its 11th win last weekend, closing out non-league play with an 84-70 victory over Georgia. With a 12th win here, Colorado will match the 1979-80 squad that started 12-2.
Craig Robinson's Beavers came up short at the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, dropping two of their three games. The team returned to the mainland however, and righted the ship a bit with a 76-68 blasting of Quinnipiac at home on Sunday. OSU is 8-4 on the season, but just 1-2 in true road games.
Colorado leads this series 9-4 all-time and is 6-1 in games played in Boulder.
The Beavers used a strong first half that saw the team deliver on 55.2 percent from the floor to take a 10-point lead into the break against Quinnipiac. The team cooled off considerably in the second half (.370), but held on for the win. Center Angus Brandt had a huge game, knocking down 8-of-11 shots from the floor and tallying a game-high 21 points. Star guard Roberto Nelson poured in 19 points and dished out six assists, while Hallice Cooke and Devon Collier finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
An efficient offensive squad, Oregon State is converting 50.8 percent from the floor, while racking up 79.4 ppg. Nelson has been unstoppable, leading the conference with 21.4 ppg. Collier also ranks in the top 10 in the league in scoring at 18.0 ppg, as well as rebounding (8.0 rpg). Brandt rounds out the top scoring threats on the roster with 12.9 ppg. Unfortunately for OSU, the scoring pool dries up quickly after that, as Challe Barton ranks fourth on the team in scoring at a mere 5.7 ppg.
The Buffaloes are also adept at filling up the basket, averaging a strong 77.5 ppg on a healthy .455 shooting percentage. Where the team has really thrived is on the glass, where Colorado holds a +10.5 rebounding margin. CU lacks a scorer as explosive as Nelson, but point guard Spencer Dinwiddie is a solid option (15.8 ppg) and deft distributor (3.8 apg). Fellow guard Askia Booker (12.6 ppg) adds backcourt depth, while the 6-foot-10 Josh Scott (13.1 ppg) is the team's top player up front, ranking fourth in the league in rebounding (9.2 rpg).
Colorado hit six 3-pointer in the first half and took an 11-point lead into halftime against the visiting Bulldogs last time out. The Buffaloes delivered on 55 percent of their shots after the break to keep Georgia at arm's length and earn the win. All five starters notched double figures in the win, led by Booker's 19 points. Dinwiddie wasn't far behind with 17 points. Scott recorded a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Xavier Johnson and Wesley Gordon checked in with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
There is no denying that Colorado has enjoyed some extended time at home, with a flawless 9-0 record to this point. Reaching double digits here won't come easy, but the Buffs should get the job done nonetheless.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Colorado 82, Oregon State 74
01/02 10:35:31 ET