Written by  in BasketballFront PageSports on Nov 29, 2011 7:12 / comment

Sophomore forward Andre Roberson is becoming a double-double machine.

On Monday night at the Coors Events Center, Roberson recorded 15 points and 15 rebounds helping the men’s basketball team win 70-68 against the Georgia Bulldogs. It marks his third double-double of the young season.

Freshman guard Spencer Dinwiddie led the Buffs in scoring with 16 points, while fellow freshman Askia Booker contributed a career-best 14 points and added four rebounds.

Colorado head coach Tad Boyle said he is proud of the improvement he sees in his team after last week’s losses to Wichita State and Maryland in Puerto Rico.

“That was a great win for our program, especially where we are in the development stages right now,” Boyle said in a post-game press conference. “It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t easy … but I was really pleased with our team performance.”

Georgia started the first half strong, gaining a 13-9 lead with 12:28 left in the half. The Bulldogs increased that gap to 14-26 before the Buffs started to fight back. A five point run by Roberson brought the score within seven, and with 3:08 left in the half, leading scorer Carlon Brown hit a trey to tie the game at 30-30.

Though the Bulldogs edged their way back into the lead by the half, Booker and sophomore center Shane Harris-Tunks scored a pair of field goals to keep the halftime score close at 34-38.

In the second half, though, the Bulldogs’ energy started flagging. The Buffs took advantage of the Rocky Mountain altitude and began pulling ahead with a 9-1 run in the first four minutes, going up 45-39.

“I think your form isn’t always the same when you’re tired … so I could tell they were fatigued,” Booker said at the press conference. “They were trying to use their bench, but if the bench isn’t prepared it wears on you a little bit.”

UGA managed a quick rally, tying the score at 45-45 with 11:11 left in the game. When Booker came off the bench, though, he lit a spark for CU.

“That’s my role, to come off the bench and spark the team as soon as possible, as fast as I can,” Booker said at the press conference. “That got us going a little faster and got us into our motion a little bit more.”

Booker scored seven points in one minute to bring the Buffs to a 52-47 lead with ten minutes remaining. Colorado then widened that lead to 11 with 2:52 left on the clock. Georgia continued to push back, bringing the score to 68-64 with just 10.4 seconds left.

In those final seconds, the desperate Bulldogs gave Colorado the free throws they needed. Despite two Georgia layups, a free-throw point each by senior Nate Tomlinson and Booker gave the Buffs the final edge and the 70-68 victory.

The Buffs had three players — Dinwiddie, Roberson and Booker — score in double figures against UGA, and they committed only seven turnovers as a team. Roberson said statistics like those show the wide range of talent on the team this season.

“Everybody can play a significant role on this team,” Roberson said at the post-game press conference. “I feel like we’re pretty deep and can go far.”

Boyle said he was especially impressed with freshmen standouts Booker and Dinwiddie, who hit a combined 13 of their 16 free throws.

“The thing I love about Spencer [Dinwiddie] is he has such a belief in himself, and I love how he came out aggressive tonight,” Boyle said at the press conference. “Askia [Booker] is an energizer bunny for this team. He is an essential guy to bring off the bench, and he plays with such reckless abandon and energy.”

With the win, the Buffs improve to 4-2 overall and continue their 26-game non-conference winning streak at home. The Bulldogs’ record drops to 4-3.

The Buffs have just one day to recover before taking on in-state rival Colorado State in Fort Collins on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

“If we can take care of business [vs. CSU] and come out of there with a win, the schedule lines up for this team,” Boyle said at the press conference. “CSU has a scrappy, competitive bunch of kids … but it’s going to be a great challenge.”

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Caryn Maconi at Caryn.maconi@colorado.edu

Photo Credit: CU Independent/Elaine Cromie