December 29, 2012

Buffaloes overwhelm Hartford, win 80-52

BOULDER, Colo.- The Colorado Buffaloes are ready for Pac-12 play to begin. Tad Boyle's group bullied through their final non-conference tune up 80-52 against the visiting Hartford Hawks on Saturday afternoon.

Askia Booker, Josh Scott and Andre Roberson all had a field day with the Hawks ineffective defense. Booker and Scott would finish with 19 and 21 points respectively and Scott would record the second double-double of his freshman campaign. Roberson would finish with 14 points and 14 rebounds.

In all, Colorado outscored the Hawks 44-11 in the paint and 19 -6 in second chance points, setting the tone for their overwhelming win and a lead as large as 37 points. The win moves Colorado to 10-2 heading into Pac-12 play.

"We feel good with ourselves," Boyle said. "But we're not happy at this point. The price of poker goes up a little bit, the intensity goes up (in conference)."

Roberson dominated from the outset, scoring his first points of the afternoon on an alley-oop dunk from Spencer Dinwiddie. Dinwiddie notched 11 points, six rebounds and six assists on the day.

""Spencer Dinwiddie really is our catalyst," Boyle said.

While the scoreboard was plenty lopsided, it was the backboard where Colorado most exerted their superiority. Led by Roberson, the Buffs outrebounded Hartford 51-22 including 28-6 in the first half alone.

Over the last two contests, CU has outrebounded their opponents a combined 93-43.

"We always trying to get a hefty rebound margin," Scott said. "I feel like all of us rebounded the ball pretty well (today)."

Roberson's sixth double-double of the year was complete by halftime and the Buffs led 45-21 going into the break but the physical domination started at the opening tip. Colorado would race out to an 8-0 lead and never give the Hawks hope.

"We learned from the Texas Southern and Wyoming (games) that we have to come ready to play," Scott said.

Hartford failed to get a single point inside the three-point arc, making seven of their 13 three-point attempts. The Buffs scored 28 points in the paint. It also took them until the 8:38 mark to collect their first rebound, at which point Roberson already had nine.

Despite the win, depth continues to be a concern for the Buffs. Boyle subbed out his starters with just over ten minutes remaining in an attempt to get his reserves quality minutes.

It only took three minutes for his starters to return to the game after a lackadaisical effort from his bench.

"We need to develop that," Boyle said. "That will happen as the year goes on. I've got confidence in every single one of them."

Dinwiddie said that despite their rough showing on Saturday, he isn't concerned about their ability to contribute during conference play.

"We have the upmost confidence in them," he said. "The chemistry is there. Living with these guys is what builds chemistry even more than playing together on the court."

Up next are the No. 3 Arizona Wildcats in Tucson on January 3.

"I'm excited," Scott said. "I feel like we played a pretty tough non-conference schedule…it prepared us for league."

Sean Miller's Wildcats are 12-0 with wins over Florida and San Diego State, ranked No. 5 and 17 respectively at the time.

While the Buffs have physically overwhelmed their last two opponents, Boyle knows that Arizona is a different challenge all together.

"We should dominate Hartford and Northern Arizona physically," he said. "I'm not sure we can dominate (Arizona) but we need to neutralize them. Our guys understand that, our guys love challenges. They are competitive and believe in themselves."

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