Sun Devils blow past Buffaloes 72-51
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Jahii Carson had 18 points and Jonathan Gilling added 12, leading Arizona State to a 72-51 rout over Colorado Saturday night.
Arizona State (15-5, 4-3 Pac-12) picked up a big win over Utah in its last game and rolled past Colorado after struggling with turnovers early. The Sun Devils led by 11 in the first half and turned it into a blowout in the opening minutes of the second behind a barrage of 3-pointers.
Gilling hit all four of his 3-point attempts and Carson became the fourth player in Arizona State history to eclipse 1,000 career points in his first two years, and added six rebounds and four assists.
After playing top-ranked Arizona relatively close Thursday night, Colorado (15-6, 4-4) labored on offense, plagued by turnovers in the first half and poor perimeter shooting all night.
Xavier Johnson had 12 points and Josh Scott added 11 for the Buffaloes, who went 2 of 11 from 3-point range.
Arizona State earned a much-needed win its last time out, outlasting Utah 79-75 at home Thursday night.
After opening conference 2-3, the Sun Devils were still in got-to-have-it mode against Colorado, with little room for error the final six weeks of the season.
Colorado has just been trying to hold on since Spencer Dinwiddie, the team leader in points and assists, tore his ACL against Washington on Jan. 12.
The Buffaloes lost for the second time in three games against Arizona without him, essentially keeping the Wildcats within reach after the rough start in the 69-57 loss.
The Buffaloes had a little more trouble getting going offensively against Arizona State, turning it over 12 times in the first half while managing 23 points.
The Sun Devils had their trouble holding onto the ball – 11 turnovers – but made up for it with good shooting and some unexpected contributions.
Arizona State hit 12 of 23 shots and led 34-23 at halftime behind seven points from Shaquielle McKissic and six each from Eric Jacobsen and Gilling.
The teams combined for three more turnovers than field goals (20) in the first half.
Colorado cut down on the sloppy play in the second half, at least in terms of turnovers, but struggled to get shots to fall as Arizona State started to pull away.
The Buffaloes missed nine of their first 12 attempts in the half and the Sun Devils started dropping in 3-pointers, two from Jermaine Marshall from the same spot on the wing and a step-backer from Carson that made it 46-29.
Arizona State hit 6 of 10 from 3-point range in the second half.