Tip Off: 6PM
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OSU (12-11, 2-8) Vs. Colorado ((15-7, 5-5)
The Beavers are riding high after decimating Utah Thursday night, where they finally injected a bit of venom, team work and fearlessness into their game.
But Colorado's Thursday night victory over the Ducks has them riding just as high, if not slightly higher; they battled back in Eugene to make up for an embarrassing loss of their own to Utah.
“We have to look at this as ‘Hey, this is a chance for us to go on a little bit of a roll here of our own, so it’s probably going to be a very tight game,” said Coach Robinson of the Buff match up.
“They’ve got really good players, good young players and they’ve got a prolific rebounder in [Andre] Roberson.”
Prolific? Dominant? Big-time threat? Understatements. Roberson is now the top rebounder in the entire nation. Watch out.
Buffs Coach Tad Boyle said during Roberson's double-double against the Ducks that he saw "a look in his eye, an energy that I hadn't seen before." (from www.cubuffs.com)
Colorado also has one of the most underrated players in the conference; small forward Xavier Johnson. He's just a freshman, but already becoming a shooting threat, and plays with the kind of hustle and heart that gets his team behind him.
Tonight, the Buffs are looking for a re-energized offensive performance. They've been relying heavily on their defense and rebounding in the past couple games (they shot just 36.5 from the field in Eugene but are averaging 38.5 rebounds per game). No doubt, the Beaver's none-too-consistent defense will have its hands full.
"Offense comes and goes," said Tad Boyle (cubuffs.com). "When you're not shooting well, you have to rely on something else to win games. 'Ski,' Spencer and Josh (Scott) are good players; they're getting good looks. It's just not going in right now. I just want to make sure we're taking care of the basketball and not turning it over, which we didn't late (against Oregon). "
Offensively, the Beavers look good, sitting first in the Pac-12 in three-point shooting (.367), second in assists (15.6) and third in scoring (74.3).
While Roberto Nelson is averaging 17 points per game, and Joe Burton has averaged 16.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists his last three games, the Beavers just need a few more cylinders to fire on offense. Having Challe Barton out at point is starting to work; he's getting Ahmad Starks shooting opportunities from the perimeter. Do that on a consistent basis tonight, and Starks may see his numbers return to early season form.
This game will also be a mile marker for junior Devon Collier, he just needs 1 point to reach a career 1,000.
The last time the Buffaloes came to town, OSU won by 14 points. Joe Burton looked back on that match up, saying, “Last year when they came down, it was Kevin McShane’s Senior Night so we played hard because we had something to play for.”
“We still have something to play for this year, so we will come out with the same intensity. We are just going to play hard.”
Tip Off: 6PM