BOULDER, Colo. -- The scenario looked all too familiar for the Colorado Buffaloes in their 71-58 upset win over the No. 9 Arizona Wildcats in front of a soldout crowd.
After leading Arizona by as many as 14 in the opening minutes of the second half, the Wildcats rallied within two possessions. In the last meeting between these teams, Arizona came back from a 17-point deficit to tie the game in a controversial last-second shot by CU that was waved off, sending the game into overtime. The Wildcats took the January game in extra minutes, 92-83, but Colorado has had the rematch circled in their calendars since.
The early rally by Arizona was halted at six points, the closest the Wildcats came in the second half. Colorado sophomore Spencer Dinwiddie handled the lion share of Colorado's scoring -- a game-high 21 points -- starting off the second half with an electrifying two-handed dunk after an Andre Roberson steal. Roberson had a game-high 13 rebounds.
With 10:36 remaining, Dinwiddie's scoring assault continued with a coast-to-coast steal and layup followed by a 3-pointer off another Arizona turnover pushing the Colorado lead, 53-39.
The Buffaloes worked through the Wildcats' defense finishing the game above 50 percent in all the shooting statistical categories (50 percent in field goals, 52 percent 3-pointers, and 66 percent from the line).
Xavier Johnson's back-to-back 3-pointers in the final five minutes of the half stretched the lead to 13.
The Wildcats were led in scoring by senior forward Solomon Hill with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Due to cold 3-point shooting, Arizona trailed 30-23 at halftime.
Averaging 36.3 percent from behind the arc on the season, the Wildcats hit just one of 10 3-point shots before the break.
The lead changed hands repeatedly until the final five minutes of the half. With the score tied at 20, Colorado started a 10-3 run when Xavier Johnson hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Four different Buffs -- Johnson, Askia Booker, Shane Harris-Tunks and Andre Roberson -- scored during the half ending run.
Johnson led the Buffaloes with 12 first-half points, having hit two 3-pointers.
Early foul trouble for Arizona's Kaleb Tarczewski kept the 7-foot center on the bench for much of the first half, but senior Solomon Hill picked up the slack under the basket. Hill grabbed a team-high five rebounds before intermission. Senior Mark Lyons led the Wildcats with six first-half points.
NOTES: Colorado's lone upperclassmen starter, junior Andre Roberson, entered the night leading the Pac-12 in rebounding (11.6 per game), defensive rebounding (8.9), and steals (2.2) ... The Wildcats led the Pac-12 in 3-pointers per game with an average of just more than seven per game, but Colorado was second in the conference in denying 3-point shots. ... Four of the previous five meetings between the teams either went to overtime or had final margins of two points or fewer. Arizona posted a 92-83 overtime win over Colorado in Tucson on Jan. 3.