After playing a solid game against the Georgia Bulldogs at home on Saturday night, the Buffs powered past their opponent 84-70 and broke the school record for free throws in a single game in the process.
"I told our team in the locker room this is a good win against a quality SEC opponent," head coach Tad Boyle said. "These guys are going to win a lot of games, I think, in the SEC. They're a talented group."
For the night, the Buffs went a perfect 26 for 26 from the free throw line. The previous record, which was 14 for 14 from the line, was set on February 16, 1980 against Nebraska. It was the tenth time in school history that a Buffaloes men's basketball team has shot perfect from the foul line in a game.
"I didn't even know that we didn't miss," sophomore forward Josh Scott said. "I had no clue. I'm kind of shocked."
By the end of the game, all five Colorado starters scored in double figures. Askia Booker led with 19 points, followed by Spencer Dinwiddie (17), Scott (14), Xavier Johnson (13), and Wesley Gordon (10).
Scott picked up his sixth double-double of the season after grabbing 13 rebounds to complement his 14 points. He is now tied for second for most double-doubles in the Pac-12 with UCLA's Kyle Anderson.
After finishing non-conference play with this impressive record, Scott says he is confident in his abilities as conference play begins.
"This whole entire thing was just going into Pac-12 (play), for me, I had a little slump last year. I'm actually really looking forward to Pac-12s because my goal is to have eighteen great games, instead of the thirteen I had last year...I have all the confidence in the world right now."
After the Buffs went up by as much as 18 points twice near the end of the first half, the Bulldogs started to fight back. By the time the buzzer sounded, they cut Colorado's lead to eleven, 46-35.
Throughout the first half, the Buffs shot an uncharacteristic 6 for 11 (54.5%) from the three-point range, and three of those treys belonged to sophomore guard Johnson. That marked the most three-pointers for Johnson this season, but his career record stands at four treys in a single game.
"It was good, just being able to have Spencer give me the ball for open jump shots and I was able to knock them down," Johnson said.
Throughout the first, the Buffs shot 14 for 29 from the field (48.3%) and sunk all twelve of their free throws to complement their unusual three-point shooting. Georgia matched Colorado's field goal shooting with 14 for 29 as well, but shot 4 for 6 from the three (66.7%) and 3 for 8 from the foul line (37.5%).
Beyond their three-point shooting, the Buffs looked solid on offense all night.
By the end of the night, their three-point shooting dropped to 40% with 8 for 20. On top of that, they shot 25 for 49 from the field (51%) and 100% from the foul line.
"I thought it was a great offensive performance for our team," Boyle said. "Best one we've had this year and against a quality team."
The Bulldogs, on the other hand, shot 28 for 56 from the field (50%), 5 for 8 from behind the arc (62.5%), and 9 for 18 from the free throw line (50%).
The Bulldogs never got a lead on the Buffs in the second, and only managed cut the deficit to eight points with ten minutes remaining before the Buffs ran away with the victory, 84-70.
The Buffs return to the Coors Events Center on Thursday, Jan 2 at 8:30 p.m. to begin Pac-12 play against the Oregon State Beavers.
"We're eleven and two, played really good teams, a really good out of conference schedule, and we're feeling pretty confident going into Pac-12 play," Scott said after Saturday's game. "We're going in and trying to win it, so it's good."