BOULDER, Colo. – Xavier Johnson had a career-high 22 points, Spencer Dinwiddie added 17 and Colorado beat No. 19 Oregon 76-53 on Thursday night, completing a season sweep and thwarting the Ducks’ bid to gain a share of the Pac-12 Conference title.
The Buffaloes (20-9, 10-7) played without the nation’s leading rebounder, Andre Roberson, who sat out with a viral illness. Gone with the athletic junior forward were 11.5 rebounds and 10.8 points a game.
Arsalan Kazemi, Jonathan Loyd and Ben Carter each had 10 points for Oregon (23-7, 12-5), which fell into a first-place tie with UCLA. The Ducks hold the tiebreaker after beating the Bruins in their only meeting in January. Oregon can wrap up at least a share of their first league crown since 2002 – along with the No. 1 seed for the Pac-12 tournament – with a win at Utah on Saturday.
Little-used backups Xavier Talton and Jeremy Adams played big minutes as they helped pick up the slack in Roberson’s absence. Adams’ thunderous dunk early in the second half gave the Buffs a 52-29 lead and brought the capacity crowd to its feet. So loud were the fans that Oregon players went on playing right through an official’s whistle for a timeout.
Moments after play resumed, Shane Harris-Tunks crumbled to the floor after being bumped by Waverly Austin, who drew a flagrant foul. Dinwiddie made both free throws.
From there, the Buffs cruised to the victory as they reached the 20-win mark for the seventh times in school history, including three straight seasons under coach Tad Boyle.
Colorado beat Oregon 48-47 last month, snapping the Ducks’ 20-game home court winning streak. This was the Buffs’ second sweep of a league foe this season, taking two from Stanford as well.
Askia Booker also added 11 points as Colorado improved to 12-2 at Coors Events Center this season.
Roberson was reduced to the role spectator, clapping on the bench at his team’s high-energy performance as he missed just his third start since his freshman year. Even without Roberson, the Buffs still outrebounded the Ducks by a 38-35 margin.
The Ducks had a week off after beating Oregon State to close out a 17-2 campaign at home this season. The break was especially beneficial for freshman guard Damyean Dotson, who fell hard to the court against the Beavers and had to be carried off the court with a hip injury.
Dotson was held to five points against CU.
The Ducks couldn’t find any sort of offensive rhythm, shooting just 37.5 percent from the floor and going 9 of 22 from the free throw line.
Broncos boss John Elway showed up moments after tip and took a seat in the first row opposite the Buffs’ bench.
At halftime, Elway had a brief chat with CU athletic direction Mike Bohn, who presented the Hall of Fame QB with a basketball. Elway dribbled it around for several minutes, even palming the ball, before sitting back down. Later in the game, Elway tossed it into the crowd with a mighty heave.
The Buffs move to 4-2 against teams in the Top 25 this season. They haven’t had a winning record against ranked teams since 1961-62.
Oregon fell to 0-5 in Pac-12 play when scoring less than 60 points. The Ducks are 12-0 when scoring 60-plus.
FR F Ben Carter had a career-high five FG (5-of-6)
SR F Arsalan Kazemi recorded his 60th steal of the season, one shy of Kenya Wilkins in 1995-96 for sixth all-time in a single season at UO. Kazemi is the all-time season leader among post players.
SR F E.J. Singler equaled his season-low for points with 2 (at UTEP, 12/19).