BOULDER, Colo. (AP) – Askia Booker picked his spots well when he was shooting the ball and dishing it off to teammates.
Booker scored 15 points to lead seven Colorado players in double figures and had a career-best six assists, helping the Buffaloes pull away in the second half for a 94-70 victory over Jackson State on Saturday in the first meeting between the schools.
“I got going a little bit today and I thank Coach for that,” Booker said. “He tells me to be aggressive 24-7 and take shots when I’m open, take good ones. I think I took pretty good shots today.”
He also was making good choices passing the ball to the open man, combining with fellow guard Spencer Dinwiddie for 12 of Colorado’s 23 assists on 28 made baskets.
“That’s a credit to my teammates for finishing plays,” Booker said. “I couldn’t do that without them. The bench came in, they shared the ball. Those are things that we need to win. We can’t have the ball sticking in our hands too much. If we do that, we’re easy to guard, but if we move it, we’re hard to guard and we’ll win games like that.”
Colorado’s unselfish play figured prominently in the seven players scoring in double figures, the most in a game Tad Boyle’s four years as the Buffaloes’ coach and one shy of the team record. Colorado had eight players in double figures in a game against Iowa State in 1973.
“I thought it was a great showing by our team,” Boyle said. “I was really proud of our guys for playing together. When you have 23 assists on 28 baskets it means you’re playing together. I think this team took a step forward today, but again it’s one game. We can’t get too full of ourselves, but some positive things to build on, for sure.”
Xavier Talton and Dustin Thomas scored 13 points apiece for Colorado (3-1), which has won three in a row since a season-opening loss to Baylor.
Javeres Brent led Jackson State, which is in the midst of a five-game road trip, with 20 points. Julysses Nobles added 16 points for the Tigers (1-3).
“I didn’t think we did a great job of getting back and transitioning, making them play 5 on 5,” said Jackson State coach Wayne Brent. “(The Buffaloes) are really talented but they haven’t shot the ball well, but I thought today, they shot it well.”
Up by 11 at halftime, the Buffaloes opened the second half with 10-4 burst that extended their lead to 56-39.
The Tigers scored eight of the next 10 points to pull to within 11 again only to see Colorado pull away with another run, punctuated by another 3-pointer by Booker that put the Buffs in front 66-49 with 12:02 left.
– By DENNIS GEORGATOS, Associated Press
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