Colorado’s rebounding, free throws sink Georgia 84-70
BOULDER, Colo. — Colorado’s rebounding and free throw shooting were Georgia coach Mark Fox’s biggest concerns heading into Saturday night’s game against the Buffaloes.
His scouting report was as good as it gets, not that it made much difference.
The Buffaloes made all 26 of their free throws, the most in a game without a miss in school history, and No. 21 Colorado finished strong to beat Georgia 84-70 on Saturday night.
“We were concerned about two things: their rebounding and sending them to the free throw line,” Fox said.
“Those ended up being two of the major keys to the game. We felt like coming in they were getting to the free throw line about 30 times a game. We didn’t want to send them there. They are a terrific team and they got to the foul line and they won the rebounding battle and that was the difference.”
Colorado out-rebounded Georgia 34-22. The Bulldogs also couldn’t keep up at the free throw line, going 9 for 18.
Askia Booker led Colorado with 19 points, including all three of his free throws.
Spencer Dinwiddie added 17 points for Colorado and Josh Scott had 14 points and 13 rebounds for his sixth double double this season and eighth of his career. Dinwiddie (7 for 7) and Scott (8 for 8) combined to go 15 for 15 from the line.
“Obviously, I’m proud of what they did at the line, but I don’t talk about it when we miss ‘em and I’m not going to talk about it when we make ‘em. That’s just a personal thing,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said.
“I want our guys to take individual pride, and when they do that, nights like this are fun, when you don’t miss any. I don’t want to discount it, but I don’t want to be a hypocrite by patting the guys on the back when they do (make them) and calling ‘em out when they don’t. But I was proud of them.”
Colorado has made its past 28 free throw attempts, including the last two in its previous game against Oklahoma State to tie the school record for consecutive free throws.
The NCAA record for most free throws in a game without a miss is 34, which has been done three times, most recently by Oklahoma against Iowa State last March 2.
The previous high for Colorado was 14 without a miss against Nebraska on Feb. 16, 1980.
All five starters for Colorado (11-2) finished in double figures, helping the Buffaloes remain unbeaten at home and match their best start since 1979-80, when they also began the season 11-2.
Nemanja Djurisic and Kenny Gaines had 12 points apiece for Georgia (6-5), which had its five-game winning streak snapped. Brandon Morris and Charles Mann each scored 11 points for the Bulldogs, who started the season 1-4.
“It’s a lot harder on the road but this is a great experience for us,” Fox said. “We got beat by a better team, and we’ve got to learn from it and get ready for the next one.”
Down by 11 at the break, Georgia got to 57-49 on Brandon Morris’ 3-pointer with 10:17 remaining.
Colorado reasserted itself with a 7-0 burst capped by Booker’s three-point play to go up 15 points with 8:33 left to play.
Georgia cut the deficit to 68-58 on a three-point play by Marcus Thornton but couldn’t muster another run to offset a 7-2 spurt by the Buffaloes, highlighted by a 3-pointer by Booker as Colorado pulled out to a 15-point lead.
The Bulldogs didn’t threaten the rest of the way.
In the first half, four Colorado players connected from 3-point range, including three 3s in the opening minutes by Xavier Johnson to help the Buffaloes take a 46-35 lead.
Colorado led by as many as 18 points, going in front 42-24 on a layup by Jaron Hopkins with 4:17 remaining in the half. But Georgia finished the period with an 11-4 burst, getting 3-pointers from Gaines and Mann to close the gap.
Still, the first-half points total matched a season high for Colorado and equaled the most points given up in the opening period this season by Georgia.
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