Monday, February 11, 2013
CORVALLIS — Spencer Dinwiddie has been there, done that. So being at the free-throw line with the game in the balance brought no added pressure.
The Colorado sophomore guard said he felt good at the line and showed it, hitting six free throws in the final 2 minutes to help the Buffaloes to a 72-68 win at Oregon State on Sunday night.
Dinwiddie, who had a game-high 24 points, provided the final margin on two foul shots with 14 seconds left.
“I take pressure free throws all the time, so it was nothing new,” said Dinwiddie, who helped his team complete a two-game road sweep of the Oregon schools. “You shoot ‘em like any other free throw. Sometimes they go in. Sometimes they don’t.”
Dinwiddie had a perfect shooting night from the field, making all six of his attempts, including four 3-pointers. He also made all eight of his free throws. Josh Scott added 17 points and Andre Roberson seven points and 10 rebounds for Colorado (16-7, 6-5 Pac-12), which overcame a seven-point second-half deficit.
Roberto Nelson had 21 points and Ahmad Starks scored 20 points for Oregon State (12-12, 2-9). Joe Burton had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Beavers.
Colorado took the lead for good at 65-63 on Xavier Johnson’s offensive rebound and dunk with 2:27 left after a tight battle much of the second half.
Dinwiddie scored 17 of his 24 points in the second half for the Buffaloes, who got the win despite Oregon State’s 39-30 rebounding edge.
They won for the fifth time in six games after opening the Pac-12 schedule 1-4.
“I’m not sure we deserved to win that game, but we found out a way to do it,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “This team, I think, is really growing up before our eyes in terms of some of the guys stepping up when they have to step up.”
All seven of Colorado’s conference road games this season have been decided by 10 or fewer points. Oregon State’s last eight Pac-12 losses have been within that margin.
“I think we are very close and we need to make our own breaks at the end,” Beavers coach Craig Robinson said.
Colorado scored six straight points early in the second half to go ahead 39-37.
The teams then traded the lead seven times in two minutes, and Nelson added a lay-in on the end of that sequence to give the Beavers a 48-45 lead with 14:49 to go.
Starks made his only basket of the second half — a 3-pointer — with 13:01 left as Oregon State took its biggest lead at 56-49.
The teams combined for just seven points over the next 6-plus minutes before Dinwiddie got Colorado within 58-57 on a 3-pointer with 6:31 remaining. The Buffaloes kept it close, with Roberson tying it at 63 on a free throw. Johnson followed a teammate’s miss with a dunk to put Colorado ahead 65-63 with 2:27 left. Dinwiddie’s two free throws with 1:41 remaining made it 67-63 Buffaloes.
Nelson was then fouled on a 3-pointer and hit the trio, making it a one-point game.
Dinwiddie added two more foul shots to make it 69-66.
Burton missed a hook shot on Oregon State’s next possession, and Colorado’s Askia Booker converted one of two free throws with 29 seconds left, giving the Buffaloes a four-point lead.
The Beavers came back with a short jumper by Nelson, and Dinwiddie answered with two more foul shots for the game’s final points.
“We had Spencer Dinwiddie and they didn’t, and I thought that was the difference down the stretch,” Boyle said.
Colorado started fast, using an 11-2 run to jump ahead 19-6 lead. Sabatino Chen, who finished with 10 points, hit two 3-pointers in that stretch.
Oregon State chipped away, with back-to-back Burton lay-ins cutting the Buffaloes’ lead to 23-18.
Starks later hit two straight 3-pointers to tie the game at 31-31 with 1:49 left in the half. His next 3 — Starks’ fifth of the half — gave the Beavers a 34-33 lead at halftime.
Starks finished the half with 17 points, which he had bettered in just six games this season. Scott had nine points for Colorado.