FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — J.D. Paige and Prentiss Nixon each scored 16 points and Colorado State held on to beat Colorado 72-63 on Saturday morning.
Che Bob had 11 points and Deion James added eight points and 10 rebounds for the Rams (4-4), who wasted much of a big lead in the second half but held on to beat their in-state rival for a second straight year.
McKinley Wright IV led Colorado with 19 points, including 11 straight points in less than two minutes to help the Buffaloes cut a 17-point deficit to 63-57 with 5:26 remaining. The freshman carved the Rams inside and out during the spurt, hitting two 3s and converting an acrobatic 3-point play.
Colorado closed the gap to 67-63 on Dominique Collier’s free throw in the final minute but couldn’t get any closer. It was the first loss of the season for Colorado (6-1).
Earlier, Nixon swished a 3 in the closing seconds of the opening half to give Colorado State a 38-35 halftime lead.
The Rams used a 10-1 run to go up 27-19 lead with 6:49 left in the period before Colorado countered with a 14-5 spurt to retake the lead at 33-32 with 1:38 left.
In the final minute, Lorenzo Jenkins had successive boards to keep possession alive for the Rams and turned it into a 3-point play to make it 35-33. Tyler Bey had two free throws for Colorado to tie things, briefly. There were nine lead changes in the first half.
The Rams built a 17-point lead in the second as Anthony Bonner’s 3 made it 63-46 with 7:40 remaining. They hit 5 of 6 from the line in the final 56 seconds to put it to rest.
Colorado: The early-morning start didn’t do any favors for the Buffaloes, who fell flat in the second half and struggled to match the Rams’ energy most of the way. The Buffs, who had outrebounded opponents by 9.5 through their first six games, lost the battle on the boards 46-32. Wright, though, proved once again the Buffs should be excited for his future.
Colorado State: The Rams, who lost Mountain West Player of the Year Gian Clavell and first-team all-conference forward Emmanuel Omogbo from last year’s team, got a confidence-boosting win over Colorado. They beat the Buffs 72-58 in Boulder last year.
Colorado: Hosts New Mexico Wednesday before traveling to No. 21 Xavier on Dec. 9.
Colorado State: The Rams have road games against Arkansas Tuesday and Oregon Friday.
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