FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) – Dorian Green had already missed two free throws in the final minute that would have given Colorado State some breathing room. The Rams’ junior guard wasn’t about to miss a layup to give them the win.
“You like to make every shot,” said Green, who was 1 of 3 from the free-throw line in crunch time. “But I made the shot when it counted.”
Green made a layup with 9.5 seconds left to give Colorado State a 65-64 victory over Colorado on Wednesday night.
“We really needed this one,” Colorado State coach Tim Miles said. “We needed something to feel good about.”
Wes Eikmeier had 19 points for the Rams (5-2), who have won three straight, and Green finished with nine.
See a photo gallery from the game at CSURams.com.
Spencer Dinwiddie matched a career-high with 16 to lead Colorado (4-3). Austin Dufault had 13 and Nate Tomlinson, who missed a 3-pointer as time expired, added 11.
“I thought Tomlinson’s shot was going in,” Miles said. “I had an angle on it and it looked like it was going in.”
The Buffaloes, who had their three-game winning streak snapped, were 13 for 29 from the free-throw line.
“You can look at a lot of things that cost us the game tonight – our free-throw shooting, turning the ball over 15 times and a technical foul by your senior point guard,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “My question is how are we in the game?”
Tomlinson gave Colorado a 64-63 lead with a shot in the paint, but Green beat the Colorado defense down the court for the game-winning layup.
“We got the ball out quickly and pushed it hard,” Green said. “We swung the ball, I was wide open and so I just drove the ball to the basket.”
Colorado State’s lead reached double digits, 37-27, early in the second half when Eikmeier hit two free throws after a technical on Tomlinson, then added a 3-pointer on the same possession. Colorado closed the gap to 48-45 on Tomlinson’s 3-pointer with 12:18 left.
The Buffaloes were within 55-53 on a trey by Jeremy Adams, but Dwight Smith and Kaipo Sabas hit layups to push the lead back to 59-53 with 7:05 remaining.
Dufault’s 3-pointer had Colorado within 62-57 with 1:17 left before Greg Smith and Green missed the front end of bonus opportunities. Dinwiddie’s dunk made it 62-59 with 44 seconds remaining.
Jesse Carr made one of two free throws for Colorado State, and Dufault hit another 3-pointer to get it to 63-62 with 21 seconds left before Tomlinson and Green exchanged baskets, and Tomlinson’s last-second shot missed the mark.
“We ran a high ball screen with me and Nate to get a good opportunity to get a good shot off,” Dufault said of the final sequence. “He got a good look. It just didn’t go in.”
Colorado State closed the first half with a 10-1 run to take a 32-25 lead. Two free throws by Shane Harris-Tunks put the Buffaloes up 25-24, but Greg Smith and Carr hit 3-pointers to begin the run for the Rams.
Colorado got off to a 3-for-12 start from the free-throw line and finished 6 for 16 in the first half.
“I wish I had that answer,” Boyle said of Colorado’s poor performance at the line. “I know that we chart every free throw in practice and we have guys that shoot over 75 percent in practice but aren’t translating that into games.”
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