TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Lauri Markkanen scored 22 points, shooting 4 of 5 on 3-pointers, Kadeem Allen made all three of his 3s en route to a career-high 18 and No. 17 Arizona held off a late Colorado surge to beat the Buffaloes 82-73 on Saturday night.
Dusan Ristic scored 17 for the Wildcats (15-2, 4-0 Pac-12), who led by 20 points early in the second half before the Buffaloes (10-6, 0-3) rallied to cut it to five late.
“We were ready to play tonight. I applaud our guys' fight and effort, but we couldn't get over the hump,” Buffs head coach Tad Boyle told Mark Johnson during his post-game interview on 850 AM. “I look at the free throw disparity and I look at us not taking care of the basketball. I think those were the two areas that cost us in the game.
“We scored more baskets than them, we made more threes than them. We played well enough offensively. They are holding teams to 60 points a game and we scored over 70. … The margin for error when you play Arizona in this building, it doesn't go to zero, but it is very, very thin. You can't get away with a lot.”
Xavier Johnson, ejected Thursday night in the first half of Colorado's 78-77 loss at Arizona State, led the Buffaloes with 26 points, one shy of his career high. Wesley Gordon added 16.
“He came out of whatever he has been in. But that is the Wesley Gordon we need on a nightly basis,” Boyle said. “We need that effort, that scoring ability in the post.”
George King had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Buffaloes, who out-rebounded the bigger Wildcats 38-32.
“We feel like we had a great opportunity to win this game and we wanted to come out and show it,” King said. “Obviously we didn't win but our effort was there, we competed, so we can still sleep at night.”
The Buffaloes will play their first home conference game against UCLA on Thursday night at 9 pm, and CU will host USC next Sunday.