BOULDER – McKinley Wright IV scored 17 of his 24 points in the second half and No. 24 Colorado shook off a sluggish start to beat Arizona State 75-61 on Thursday night.
Wright turned in his seventh 20-point game of the season in what was his final game at CU Events Center. The speedy senior point guard made one acrobatic move after another to help the Buffaloes (20-7, 14-6 Pac-12) bounce back from 10 first-half turnovers.
Jeriah Horne had 12 points and 12 rebounds in a game originally scheduled for Feb. 4, but postponed due to COVID-19 issues within Arizona State’s program.
This was the 12th time in program history Colorado has reached the 20-win plateau — and eighth time under coach Tad Boyle, including three in a row.
Holland Woods scored 15 points to lead the Sun Devils (10-12, 7-9), who saw their three-game winning streak snapped.
Remy Martin had a rare off night, finishing with six points on 1-of-9 shooting. It snapped a string of eight straight games with 20 or more points. Martin entered the game leading the Pac-12 in scoring with a 21.3-point average.
Tied at 39 with 16:44 remaining, Colorado went on an 8-0 run to gain separation. It was highlighted by an acrobatic layup by Wright on a fast break.
Wright looked sharp in his white Nike shoes with a gold swoosh. He played sharp, too.
Wright, the reigning Pac-12 player of the week, also had four assists and four rebounds. His biggest contribution was helping chase around Martin, who rarely had a moment’s peace.
There was a hold-your-breath moment for Colorado fans late in the game when Wright stayed down on the floor near the Buffaloes bench during a timeout. The team met on the floor next to him as he stretched out what appeared to be a cramp.
It was a rocky first half for Colorado and Arizona State as they combined for 19 turnovers and 41% shooting. The Buffaloes led 31-30 at halftime.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils were outrebounded by a 44-28 margin. They also were outscored 36-26 in points in the paint.
Colorado: Picked to finish seventh in the Pac-12 preseason poll, the Buffaloes are currently looking at the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament next week in Las Vegas and will have a first-round bye.
Colorado’s 14 conference wins are the most in program history, surpassing the 13-1 mark of the 1961-62 Big Eight Conference championship team.
The Buffaloes are on pace to set team, Pac-12 and national records for their free throw shooting. They went 17 of 19 against Arizona State and are now shooting 83.4%. The conference record is 78.6% by Arizona in 2003-04 and the NCAA Division I mark is 82.2% by Harvard in 1983-84. Colorado’s team mark is 77.8% in 2010-11.
Arizona State freshman guard Josh Christopher (back) stayed in Tempe for treatment. ... Sun Devils F Marcus Bagley (ankle) played for the first time since Jan. 30. He had no points in 20 minutes. ... Arizona State was issued a flop warning midway through the second half.
Arizona State: Finishes the regular season Saturday at Utah.