Roberson, Colorado Hand USC 9th Straight Loss
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Spencer Dinwiddie stole the ball late in the second half, looked up and saw Andre Roberson near the basket. He tossed an alley-oop that sailed 3 feet over his teammate’s outstretched arms and out of bounds.
It was one of the few offensive miscues by Colorado during a game in which the Buffaloes showed their capability to get out in the open court.
“You want kids to try to make plays like that,” said coach Tad Boyle after Thursday night’s 74-50 victory over Southern California. “We want our guys to have the guts to throw those passes.”
Roberson had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Carlon Brown scored 13 with nine rebounds for the Buffaloes (14-6, 6-2), who used a 23-4 run spanning both halves in winning their first Pac-12 road game.
Askia Booker scored 13, Austin Dufault 11 and Jeremy Adams 10 as Colorado sent the Trojans to their ninth straight loss.
“That’s how we play,” Brown said. “We run, we dunk and we get out.”
Maurice Jones scored 13 points to lead the Trojans (5-16, 0-8), who shot 32 percent overall and went 5 of 25 on 3-pointers.
The already undermanned Trojans were dealt another blow when center Dewayne Dedmon left early in the first half with a sprained knee and did not return.
“I think it kind of stung our guys when he got hurt,” USC coach Kevin O’Neill said. “Without Dedmon, we were obviously outmanned.”
The Buffaloes took advantage of the void in the middle, getting a steady number of uncontested shots in the paint against the “deflated” Trojans, as Boyle put it.
Roberson hit a layup and a free throw coming out of halftime to make the lead 40-26. After USC’s James Blasczyk scored on a jumper with 17:33 left, the Trojans went scoreless for nearly 6 minutes.
“The first part of the second half was really critical for us,” Boyle said. “We started it because we kept getting stops.”
Colorado followed with 17 straight points, all but two coming on layups and dunks, for a 57-28 lead. Roberson and Dinwiddie each had four points during the spurt.
“We just kind of gave in during the second half defensively,” O’Neill said.
Dedmon was injured 4 minutes in. Dedmon hobbled off without putting weight on his left leg. After being examined on the bench, he went to the locker room.
Dedmon was seen at halftime sporting a brace on his knee and later returned to the bench in warmups. O’Neill did not know the extent of the injury and said Dedmon would get an MRI late Thursday or early Friday.
“He was having trouble putting weight on it,” O’Neill said. “There was no way he can run.”
Dedmon finished with one point and missed all four of his shots.
“It hurts, but it’s not unbearable,” Dedmon said.
The Trojans are already missing starters Jio Fontan (knee) and Aaron Fuller (shoulder) for the season.
Booker and Dinwiddie each had nine rebounds for the Buffaloes, who held a 51-24 edge on the boards.
Colorado scored the first seven points and built an 11-3 lead on Roberson’s dunk. USC, which started 1 of 7 from the field, got only as close as six points the rest of the way.
Adams closed the half with a free throw and a step-back jumper to give the Buffaloes a 37-26 lead at intermission.
With its best big man unavailable, the Trojans were content settling for 3-pointers – without much success. They hit only 2 of 14 in the first half.
Colorado went 19 of 26 from the free throw line while the Trojans earned just 10 trips, making seven.
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