BOULDER, Colo. (AP) –Josh Scott scored 14 points and Askia Booker added 12 to help Colorado snap a two-game skid by holding off USC 66-60 on Thursday night.
The Buffaloes (11-4, 1-2 Pac-12) ran their home record to 7-0 this season and kept the Trojans (6-10, 1-2) searching for that elusive road win. USC has now dropped 14 straight away from the Galen Center.
Eric Wise finished with 16 points for the Trojans, which haven’t won on the road since Nov. 30, 2011, at UC Riverside.
Andre Roberson, one of the top rebounders in the nation, didn’t start for the first time in 49 games. Colorado coach Tad Boyle declined to give a reason for Roberson’s benching before the game, but said he would address the situation later.
The junior forward anxiously sat in his seat for just over four minutes, before being summoned into the game by Boyle. Roberson finished with 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
This time, the Buffaloes didn’t squander a big lead. Not all of it, anyway.
In back-to-back games last week, Colorado blew a 17-point lead in an overtime loss to Arizona and then had a double-digit advantage erased as the team tumbled at Arizona State.
Colorado led by 15 points at halftime before the Trojans closed the gap to 43-36 on a layup by J.T. Terrell early in the second half. It made for some tense moments. Boyle began pacing on the bench, crouching down at times as his players looked tentative on the court.
Finally seeing enough, Boyle called timeout to settle down his squad. Whatever he said appeared to hit home as Colorado went on a 14-7 run to gain some separation. The big play in the run was a three-point play by Booker with 8:41 remaining.
But the Trojans had one last run in them. Byron Wesley hit a deep 3-pointer with around 15 seconds remaining to make it a six-point game. USC then stole a pass, but couldn’t capitalize as Colorado hung on for the win, much to the relief of the boisterous crowd.
USC was its own worst enemy in this contest, turning the ball over a season-high 23 times.
After a fast start by USC to open the game, the moment began to shift late in the first half when Jio Fontan hobbled off the court. The Buffs turned a four-point lead into 11 by the time the senior guard checked back into the game.
This was USC’s first appearance in Boulder since Dec. 2, 1968, when it lost 74-54.