Scott keys Colorado 2 OT win over Texas-Southern
By Dennis Georgatos
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) Josh Scott helped settle matters at the end of the game by taking the ball to the hoop.
Scott scored the first two baskets of the second overtime on layups, and No. 19 Colorado fought back from an early 15-point deficit to beat Texas Southern 85-80 on Tuesday night.
The Buffaloes (6-0) withstood a 39-point performance by Omar Strong, who made nine 3-pointers, including three in the extra sessions.
"If we caught a breath, it was a small one because they were hitting 3's," Scott said after he helped Colorado pull ahead for good. "I was just trying to be aggressive, and I made some shots. I'm glad it helped us get the win."
So was Colorado coach Tad Boyle, who was hard on himself and hard on his team after the Buffaloes dodged the upset. He lit into his squad at halftime and blamed himself for his squad's sometimes lackluster play.
"In many respects, (Texas Southern) deserved to win the game. Those kids played their hearts out and I can't say enough about the performance of Omar Strong," Boyle said. "We were fortunate to win. I'm not saying we didn't deserve to win because our guys played hard as well and did what we had to do down the stretch. But we definitely have to learn from tonight and get better. If we don't, in a week and a half, we're going to blink our eyes, and we're going to be 6-4 instead of 6-0.
"I think our guys learned tonight that nobody is going to be intimidated by you just because you're 19th in the country, you're feeling good about yourself and you're playing in front of a great home crowd. Doesn't mean jack, unless you bring it and we didn't bring it from the get-go and that's my fault as a coach."
Spencer Dinwidde had 24 points to lead Colorado, which is off to its best start since opening 6-0 in 1989-90. Scott finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds, Askia Booker added 15 points and Andre Roberson had 11.
"You kind of got to see the makeup of our team," Dinwiddie said. "We didn't crumble or anything. They punched us in the mouth and we came back and it was a dogfight from there on out. But we didn't start going after each other or anything like that. We pulled together."
Fred Sturdivant had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Texas Southern (1-6), which just missed beating a ranked team for the first time in school history.
"It was very difficult," first-year Texas Southern Coach Mike Davis said of the loss. "I'm just trying to build the team and get better every single time. I think we took a step in the right direction. We played very well. We came out competing and working hard."
Tied at 59 at the end of regulation, Booker converted a three-point play with 1:38 remaining in overtime for a 68-66 Colorado lead. But Strong was fouled attempting a 3-pointer and made two free throws to re-tie it.
Booker drained a 3-pointer from the corner with 41 seconds left in the first overtime to make it 71-68 but Law Johnson-Danner answered with a 3-pointer for the Tigers and Booker's long jumper rimmed out at the buzzer, forcing the second overtime.
Scott hit successive baskets from up close to start the second overtime, getting fouled in the lane and converting the free throw after the second shot to give the Buffaloes a 76-71 lead they would not relinquish.
After Sabatino Chen drove in for a layup with 1:09 left, Dexter Ellington made one of two free throws for the Tigers. A fastbreak layup by Chen gave the Buffaloes an 80-72 lead, enough to withstand another 3-pointer by Strong with 11.5 seconds remaining.
Trailing by 10 points at halftime, Colorado finally shook off its early shooting woes to run off 11 straight points starting the second half, moving in front 40-39 on Roberson's fastbreak layup with 15:35 remaining.
Roberson, whose blown breakaway dunk midway through the opening period epitomized Colorado's earlier offensive struggles, had seven points during the stretch.
The Tigers came back to take a 50-48 lead when Penn connected on a 3-pointer with 9:02 left. Colorado put together an 8-0 flurry for a 56-50 lead with 6:44 remaining. Dinwidde sparked the run with two 3-pointers.
Madarious Gibbs made both ends of a 1-and-1 to pull the Tigers to 57-56 with 3:06 left and Scott made two free throws for Colorado with 1:51 left.
Roberson fouled out with 1:30 left when he fouled Aaron Clayborn as he went up for a shot. Clayborn made one of two free throws, getting the Tigers within two points.
Booker missed a jumper and Sturdivant drove in for a layup that tied it at 59-all with 42.5 seconds left.
Maneuvering for a tie-breaking shot, Colorado hung on to the ball too long, turning it over with 6.8 seconds left in regulation when the 35-second shot clock expired. Strong missed a 15-foot jumper at the buzzer.
Colorado missed its first six shots from beyond the arc before Booker connected at the buzzer, pulling the Buffaloes within 39-29 at halftime after trailing by as many as 15 points.
Updated November 28, 2012