Oregon State (13-17) at Colorado (20-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 9, 4:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Coors Events Center (11,064) -- Boulder, Colorado. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Oregon State 9-8, Colorado 12-2. Away Record: Oregon State 2-8, Colorado 5-7. Neutral Record: Oregon State 2-1, Colorado 3-0. Conference Record: Oregon State 3-14, Colorado 10-7. Series Record: Colorado leads, 8-3.
GAME NOTES: The Colorado Buffaloes will look to keep rolling into the postseason when they face off with the Oregon State Beavers in a Pac-12 Conference regular-season finale at the Coors Events Center on Saturday.
Oregon State will be trying to reverse a losing streak and get its footing for the upcoming Pac-12 Conference Tournament. The Beavers have lost five straight games and are currently in a last-place tie with Washington State in the league standings at 3-14. The Beavers swept the season series with Washington State so a win in this contest would give them the No. 11 seed in the conference tourney.
Colorado bounced back from a 62-46 setback against California with a 76-53 rout of No. 19 Oregon on Thursday night. The Buffaloes have now won three of their last four games to improve to 20-9 overall and 10-7 in league action. This is the third straight season the Buffaloes have had at least 20 wins, the first time that has happened in school history. Colorado currently owns the fifth spot in the league standings but it could move to fourth with a loss by No. 18 Arizona on Saturday.
Earlier this season Colorado escaped Corvallis with a 72-68 win over the Beavers. The win was the third in the last four meetings for the Buffaloes, who lead the all-time series, 8-3.
Challe Barton's career-high 15 points were spoiled in Oregon State's 72-61 road loss to Utah on Thursday night. The Beavers did themselves no favors by committing a game-high 15 turnovers which led to 21 points for the Utes. The Beavers were also on the short end of a 39-29 deficit on the boards.
Scoring has not been a weakness for Oregon State this season as the Beavers are putting in the third most points per game (72.4) among Pac-12 teams. In fact the Beavers actually have a positive scoring margin (+1.9) this season. Roberto Nelson (17.8 ppg) and three other double-figure scorers have made sure the Beavers light up the scoreboard frequently. Nelson shoots over 45 percent from the floor and is currently tied for fourth in the league in points. Devon Collier (12.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg) still has solid numbers on paper and has begun to turn his season around with three straight double-figure efforts after failing to do so in five previous tilts. Ahmad Starks (10.7 ppg) can really stroke it from beyond the arc, while Joe Burton (11.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and Eric Moreland (8.9 ppg, 10.5 rpg) are pillars in the frontcourt.
Despite the versatile Andre Roberson sitting on the bench, Colorado still blasted Oregon. The Buffaloes held the Ducks to just 37.5 percent shooting while outscoring them both from beyond the arc (21-6) and the free-throw line (19-9). Xavier Johnson netted a game-high 22 points to pace Colorado.
Roberson (10.8 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 2.2 spg) is the nation's leading rebounder and one of the best defenders in the country but his return for Saturday's game is still in doubt as he battles a case of mononucleosis. There is still plenty of talent on the roster for Tad Boyle's squad though even without Roberson. Spencer Dinwiddie (15.3 ppg) is one of the better scorers out of the backcourt while Askia Booker (12.7 ppg) and Josh Scott (10.9 ppg) are also double-figure scoring threats. Johnson (8.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg) shoots 51.7 percent from the field but has been used primarily as a complementary scorer. However as he proved on Thursday he is more than capable of carrying the team for stretches.
With Roberson likely out again on Saturday the Buffaloes will have to rely on the supporting cast. That recipe turned out just fine against the nationally-ranked Ducks and should once again versus the struggling Beavers.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Colorado 72, Oregon State 60
03/09 10:45:37 ET