Colorado point guard Spencer Dinwiddie couldn't do much better than his offensive performance last Sunday against Oregon State - but in Thursday night's 71-58 win over No. 9 Arizona, he certainly tried.
Against OSU, Dinwiddie recorded 24 points and never missed a shot, hitting six-for-six from the field, including four three-pointers, and eight-of-eight free throws. Those 24 points were the most scored by a CU player in history without missing.
On Thursday night against the Wildcats at the Coors Events Center, Dinwiddie scored a game-high 21 points. And while he didn't shoot a perfect game, the shots he did make came at the right time. He scored 19 of his total in the second half.
With the Buffs up seven at the start of the second half, Dinwiddie hit three straight free throws after being fouled on a three-point try then followed with a dunk, setting an energetic tone for the rest of the game.
And with just under 11 minutes remaining, Arizona had come back to within six points (45-39). But an assist from Dinwiddie set up freshman guard Xavier Talton for a timely three. On CU's next possession, Dinwiddie capitalized on the momentum with a layup, then added a three of his own to put the Buffs up 53-39.
"Xavier (Talton) made a big-time shot off Spencer's dish, it was a six-point game when he made that three," said Colorado coach Tad Boyle. "That was a big shot, and he didn't hesitate either."
That assist was one of a career-high seven for Dinwiddie, a contribution which helped allow two other players to score in double figures: freshman forward Xavier Johnson with 19 and sophomore point guard Askia Booker with 10.
"I have to give thanks to (Xavier Johnson), he made a ton of shots, a bunch of threes," Dinwiddie said. "Without him, I don't get those assists." Johnson finished the night hitting four of his five three-point attempts.
Boyle said even as a sophomore, Dinwiddie is already maturing and becoming one of the team's key leaders.
"Spencer's growing up before our eyes, and he's becoming one of the premier guards in this league," Boyle said. "I've said this before and I'll say it again, I wouldn't trade Spencer Dinwiddie for anybody."
Dinwiddie's value as a teammate, said Boyle, goes beyond just executing on the offense.
"What he brings to this team, [he has the] ability to affect the game at so many different levels," Boyle said. "Defense, shooting the ball, making plays for each other, controlling the tempo."
The Buffs hit the Coors Events Center again on Saturday against Arizona State (7 p.m., ESPNU). In CU's first meeting with the Sun Devils, a 65-56 loss on Jan. 6, Dinwiddie led the Buffs in scoring with 19 points.