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February 2, 2013
Buffs comeback falls short at Utah
SALT LAKE CITY - Brandon Taylor drew a charge with 9.7 seconds left and Glen Dean hit a pair of free throws on the other end to help Utah survive a late rally and upset Colorado 58-55 on Saturday afternoon.
Jason Washburn scored 13 points and collected 11 rebounds, while Jeremy Olsen added 12 points off the bench, to lead the Utes (10-11, 2-7) to their second Pac-12 win of the season.
Spencer Dinwiddie had 18 points, while Andre Roberson chipped in 10 points and 12 rebounds, for the Buffaloes (14-7, 4-5) who added a damaging loss to their NCAA tournament resume.
"These are the games that you have to prepare yourself for, whether it is on the road or it could happen at home, and we didn't handle it very well," said CU coach Tad Boyle on 850-KOA radio. "We worry about the wrong things."
After trailing by as many as 22 points, Colorado made a late second-half run to get back into the game. The Buffaloes held Utah without a field goal over the final 10:44 of the game to whittle the Utes' lead down.
Starting with a jumper from Askia Booker, Colorado came all the way back over that 9-minute stretch. When Roberson stole the ball from Washburn and scored on a layup, the Buffaloes trailed 54-53 with 1:45 left.
Jarred DuBois hit a pair of free throws to give Utah some breathing room. The Buffaloes had a chance to tie the game when Dinwiddie drove for a layup, and was fouled, to make it 56-55 with 53.6 seconds left. But Dinwiddie missed the free throw and Washburn secured the rebound.
Colorado had another chance on the next possession. But Taylor drew a charge on Dinwiddie with 9.7 seconds left, and Dean hit two free throws with 6.9 remaining to secure the victory.
Former Utah coach Rick Majerus had his sweater retired during a halftime ceremony. Majerus, who died Dec. 1, coached the Utes from 1989-2004. He posted a 323-95 record in 15 seasons. Majerus led Utah to the NCAA Tournament 10 times and the Utes reached the NCAA Championship game in 1998.
Several players whom Majerus coached at Utah were in attendance, including Denver Nuggets point guard Andre Miller and ex-NBA players Keith Van Horn and Michael Doleac.
Utah put on a first-half performance that would have earned Majerus' approval. The Utes forced 10 Colorado turnovers and found a multitude of ways to score on the Buffaloes.
The script started out similar to other recent Utah games. The Buffaloes attacked the glass and earned a huge edge on rebounds - 20-13 in the first half - to create plenty of easy baskets. But Olsen gave the Utes a major boost off the bench, tying the game with three consecutive baskets. DuBois drained a jumper a minute later to put Utah up 19-17 with 8:18 left.
Colorado edged back in front 23-21 after Askia Booker hit a pair of free throws and a jumper. From that point on, the Buffaloes went ice cold.
Utah took full advantage. The Utes retook a 27-23 lead with 2:07 left before halftime on consecutive 3-pointers from Cedric Martin and Taylor. They marked the beginning of an astounding 28-4 run by Utah to take control of the game.
The Utes held Colorado with a field goal for a 10:40 period that spanned both halves. Johnson finally broke the drought for the Buffaloes on a layup at the 14:12 mark in the second half. By the time Martin drained a jumper and a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions, Utah led 49-27 with 12:24 left.
Officials: Michael Greenstein, Ken Ditty, Tom Nally