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February 27, 2013
Roberson scored a career-high 24 points, including 16 in the second half, to help the Buffaloes come back from 10 points down in the final 15 minutes and beat Stanford 65-63 on Wednesday night.
"If we win out, we're definitely trying to get that fourth seed," said Roberson after Colorado's eighth win in 10 games. "If we can't, we're still in great position to do good things."
Roberson, the leading rebounder in the country going into the night, had eight boards and finished 9 of 13 from the floor while helping the Buffaloes (19-8, 9-6 Pac-12) go on an 18-2 run in the second half to complete a season sweep of the Cardinal after five straight losses in the series between the two schools.
Colorado's recent success has helped erase the sting of a 1-4 start in conference play. But the Buffaloes remain in a logjam in the middle of the Pac-12 standings, while Stanford dropped closer to the bottom with its first three-game losing streak at home since 2010.
"Our confidence is at an all-time high," said Colorado's Spencer Dinwiddie, who had 19 points. "As long as we keep winning on the road, everybody is happy."
The Buffaloes needed everything Roberson had after falling behind 43-33 early in the second half, then had to hold on during a frantic finish.
Dinwiddie scored on a layup with 26 seconds left to put Colorado up 63-59. But when Roberson went to flip the ball to a Stanford player, Dinwiddie reached in to tip the ball away and was called for a technical foul.
Aaron Bright made one of two free throws to pull the Cardinal within 63-60 before Roberson made a pair of insurance free throws. Andy Brown's 3-pointer cut it to 65-63, and after Dinwiddie missed the front end of a one-and-one, Stanford had a chance to tie the game.
Dwight Powell nearly pushed the game into overtime after driving around Roberson and dunking the ball on the game's final play, but officials reviewed television replays and ruled that time expired before Powell's bucket.
Brown matched his career high with 17 points while Powell added 12 for Stanford (16-13, 7-9).
"Any time you lose at the buzzer it's never a good thing, but all the plays leading up to that were the cause of it," Brown said. "We built some good leads on them and our defense just didn't hold up."
Chasson Randle got Stanford going early with a 3-pointer and short jumper but it was Powell who provided the signature moment of the night with an emphatic one-handed dunk over a pair of Colorado defenders in the first half. Powell, who started his drive near the left corner of the baseline, was fouled by Jeremy Adams and completed the three-point play to put the Cardinal up 15-4.
Colorado kept it close despite playing its second straight game without 6-foot-10 forward Josh Scott, who is second on the team in rebounding and third in scoring. He took an elbow to the head in the Buffaloes' loss to Arizona State on Feb. 16.
Dinwiddie had six points as part of an 11-2 run and Roberson later scored on a layup that tied the game at 27. After a layup by Randle and 3-pointer from John Gage pushed Stanford's lead to five, Dinwiddie and Adams both scored on drives through the key to pull the Buffaloes within 32-31 at the break.
The Cardinal opened the second half with an 11-2 run highlighted by Powell's one-handed 5-footer off an inbounds pass but didn't get much else from their leading scorer. Powell, who went into the night averaging 15.4 points, finished 4 of 11 from the floor.
Colorado responded with its big run to take its first lead since 2-0. Dinwiddie had five points and Roberson, paired against Powell much of the game, made back-to-back 3s to help the Buffaloes go up 51-45.
"We were getting stops and getting out in transition," Roberson said. "We weren't doing that much in the first half."
Officials: Mike Scyphers, Gregory Nixon, Keith Kimble