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Colorado cruises by Oregon State to begin Pac-12 Tournament title defense

The Buffs beat the Beavers by a final score of 74-68 behind 20 points from Spencer Dinwiddie.

USA TODAY Sports

Facing the prospect of once again needing to win four games in four days to get to the NCAA tournament, the Colorado Buffaloes used a big second half to dispatch of the Oregon State Beavers, 74-68.

The final score might suggest a reasonably tight affair, but the margin was fairly comfortable for No. 5 seed Colorado throughout the second half -- only a handful of threes at the end of the game in the last few minutes from Ahmad Starks and Roberto Nelson in the final three minutes put the Buffs in position to have to earn it at the free throw line.

The first half actually was fairly close, and it looked like Colorado would head into the break leading by just three. But Spencer Dinwiddie secured three of his game-high 20 points with a half-court make as time expired. The No. 12 seed Beavers would never seriously threaten after that.

Diniwiddie was incredibly efficient, scoring his 20 points on just 11 shots. He hit 9-of-11 from the free throw line, including four in the final minute and a half. Andre Roberson, who returned from missing a pair of games due to illness, had 12 points and 7 rebounds, including a 3-pointer that kept the Beavers at bay when it looked as if they might threaten.

Nelson led Oregon State with 20 points himself.

The Buffaloes advance to face No. 4 seed Arizona on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. PDT on Pac-12 Networks.