Colorado (7-1) at Colorado State (6-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, December 3, 9 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Moby Arena (8.745) -- Fort Collins, Colorado. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Colorado 6-0, Colorado State 6-0. Away Record: Colorado 1-0, Colorado State 0-2. Neutral Record: Colorado 0-1, Colorado State 0-0. Conference Record: Colorado 0-0, Colorado State 0-0. Series Record: Colorado leads, 86-36.
GAME NOTES: In-state rivals will clash on Tuesday when the Colorado Buffaloes take on the Colorado State Rams in a non-conference affair at Moby Arena.
Since falling to No. 20 Baylor in the season opener, the Buffaloes have been rolling. An 81-57 rout of Air Force on Saturday was the seventh straight victory for the Buffaloes. Of those wins, four have come by at least 23 points. Colorado will need to avoid overlooking this contest as a battle with No. 6 Kansas is on the horizon.
Colorado State is on a run of its own as it has won each of its last four games. The most recent victory came when the Rams escaped with an 85-83 victory in the fourth and final part of the Colorado State Challenge. The event began a season-long 10-game homestand for the Rams, who have yet to lose in six chances at Moby Arena.
These rivals have squared off 122 times. The Buffaloes own a hefty, 86-36, advantage in the all-time series, with their 70-61 win last season the most recent.
Josh Scott hung up a double-double (16 points, 13 rebounds) and the Buffaloes scored 21 points off of 18 Air Force turnovers in Colorado's most recent win. Thanks in part to Scott's efforts the Buffaloes also had a massive advantage on the boards (42-25), while hitting nine shots from beyond the arc.
Teams don't win seven straight without playing well on both ends of the floor. Colorado has certainly been doing so, limiting foes to 65.3 points per game on 41.1 percent shooting, while turning in quality numbers (78.5 ppg, .465 FG percentage) on the other end. Colorado also owns an impressive +11.1 rebounding margin. Scott (13 ppg, 8.9 rpg) has been valuable both on offense and the glass. The 6-foot-10 forward has three double-doubles this year, including one in each of the last two games. Spencer Dinwiddie (13.8 ppg, 3.2 apg) has been improving after a slow start, though he regressed, with only seven points against Air Force. Askia Booker (11.4 ppg) and Xavier Johnson (10.7 ppg) provide further depth.
J.J. Avila saved Colorado State against New Mexico State, as he put in a layup with two seconds left on the clock to push the Rams to the 85-83 victory. Colorado State never had a double-digit lead in the contest despite outscoring the Aggies 18-10 off turnovers and 44-36 in the paint.
Having Avila (19 ppg, 5.8 rpg) take the final shot of the game is right in line with how the Rams have played this season. Avila is leading three players scoring in double figures and has done so by hitting better than 50 percent of his shots from the floor. Joining Avila as double figure scorers for the Rams are Jon Octeus (13.9 ppg, 3.4 apg) and Daniel Bejarano (13.6 ppg, 8.6 rpg). Octeus teams with Avila in the backcourt, while Bejarano is the team's anchor on the interior. Against New Mexico State, Octeus finished with 15 points and eight assists, while Bejarano had 11 points and 15 rebounds, despite hitting only 3-of-15 shots from the field.
Dinwiddie and Booker are physical guards that will give Avila and Octeus issues on the perimeter, while Scott and athletic forwards Johnson and Wesley Gordon (8.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg) will be a real challenge for Bejarano. Playing a rival at home may allow the Rams to stay close but the Buffaloes will pull away in the end.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Colorado 77, Colorado State 70
12/03 10:38:51 ET