BOULDER, Colo. (AP) - McKinley Wright IV scored 24 points with six rebounds and eight assists, Tyler Bey had 22 points and 17 rebounds and Colorado got past Arizona State 77-73 on Wednesday night.
The duo dominated inside as Colorado (15-9, 6-6 in Pac-12) scored 38 points in the paint.
“Tyler Bey and McKinley Wright were warriors,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “Those two kids are special. They are really separating themselves in terms of what they can do to help this team win.”
Wright set his season high for scoring and did so shooting effectively from the field at 9 of 13. Bey recorded his ninth double-double of the year and set a personal best on the boards against the fourth-best rebounding team in the nation.
The Sun Devils (16-8, 7-5) were led by Luguentz Dort’s 21 points on 13 shots. Taeshon Cherry, who returned from a concussion, was limited to eight points due to foul trouble.
“We were in really good shape at the under 16 then they got in the lane, especially McKinley Wright,” Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley said. “They made some tough shots too, late clock down the stretch.”
The game featured nine ties and seven lead changes. An extended Colorado run of 29-16 in the second half finally created separation. The run was capped by a 3-pointer by Wright to put Colorado up eight with a little less than three minutes left.
“It was crazy. I don’t know how to describe it. When I hit that shot and saw buff nation go crazy it was exciting,” Wright said. “I was excited to see it go through that was a big-time shot for us and it kind of killed them.
HE SAID IT
“Colorado has been doing well so we knew it was going to be a dogfight,” Arizona State’s Remi Martin said. “But we still have to play our basketball. We get away from it sometimes. We play high and low, it’s just something that’s very weird and we have to figure it out.”
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Colorado outscored Arizona State in the paint 38-26.
“We couldn’t generate any stops,” Hurley said. “That led to them getting some - they got easy baskets, they drove the lane, they drove right down the heart of our defense”
The Buffaloes have won four straight in conference play for the first time since the 2005-06 season. Last weekend Colorado earned just its second road sweep since joining the Pac-12. They are looking to work their way up from the bottom of the conference with a home-heavy slate ahead.
Arizona State continues to struggle at Colorado. The Buffaloes have won five straight against the Sun Devils and eight of nine all-time. Arizona State’s one win came in overtime six years ago.
Colorado and Arizona came into Wednesday in a four-way tie for seventh place in the Pac-12. The two will play in Boulder on Sunday evening.
Arizona State and Utah entered in a three-way tie for second place in the conference. They will play one another on Saturday in Salt Lake City.
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