BOULDER, Colo. - Colorado's Spencer Dinwiddie called it a "revenge game," but seriously, no words were necessary.
For Colorado's 71-58 win over the No. 9-ranked Arizona Wildcats on Thursday, the Coors Events Center was packed with a screaming, sold-out crowd of 11,120 fans. Students wore black T-shirts and the words "Valentine's Day Massacre" were circulating even before it started.
Then the Buffaloes took care of Arizona so well on both sides of the court that they led by up to 15 points and never by less than six after halftime, allowing their fans to giddily storm the court and chant "overrated" at the UA following the game.
In fact, they didn't even need scoring from guard Sabatino Chen, who threw up the would-be buzzer beater that was waved off on Jan. 3 at McKale Center, the foundation for all the Buffs' angst that continued when Colorado lost three of four after the first UA game.
"This definitely was a revenge game," said Dinwiddie, who led the Buffs with 21 points. "But we're not blaming the skid on that game."
It was in this environment that the Wildcats unwisely chose to dig themselves another early hole, making just 1 of 10 early three-pointers and allowing Colorado to head into halftime with a 30-23 lead.
It was all too reminiscent of how Arizona shot just 3 of 20 from three-point territory in a 64-63 loss to Colorado at the Coors Events Center last season.
"One for 10? On the road, you've gotta make shots," UA coach Sean Miller said.
The Buffs then scored the first eight points of the second half and, while Arizona cut it to a six-point deficit midway through the half, Colorado never had to worry much down the stretch.
"We just played catch-up pretty much the whole game," said UA forward Solomon Hill, who led the Wildcats with 12 points and seven rebounds.
The loss was Arizona's second straight for the first time since the end of last season, when the Wildcats lost to Colorado in the Pac-12 Tournament final and to Bucknell in the first round of the NIT.
The Wildcats dropped to 20-4 overall and 8-4 in the Pac-12, where they are now a game behind first-place Oregon.
Colorado improved to 17-7 and 7-5, having beaten a top-10 team for the first time in two seasons. It beat No. 5 Texas and No. 8 Missouri in 2010-11 while still a member of the Big 12.
"Colorado had an incredible environment. This was a big game for them, and they played really well," Miller said. "They were ready to go."
Mark Lyons scored 11 for the Wildcats, who made just 5 of 19 three-pointers.
At the same time, UA allowed Colorado to shoot 50 percent from the field in the game and make 9 of 17 three-pointers. While Dinwiddie had 21 for Colorado, freshman Xavier Johnson had 19 points with 4-of-5 three-point shooting.
Johnson, who was looked at by Arizona in high school but wasn't offered a scholarship, also threw down some monster dunks to add to the home team's festivities.
"They made some really key shots," Miller said. "Our defense has been what got us to this point, but we had a hard time getting stops. It has held up, but tonight it didn't."
Grant Jerrett made a three-pointer to cut CU's lead to just 45-39 with 11 minutes left, but the Buffs turned it up again and scored another eight straight points to go ahead 53-39.
From there, Colorado kept a comfortable lead the rest of the way.
Miller used nine players for at least eight minutes each, saying he did so because of the high altitude. The Wildcats received a bonus when reserve forward Angelo Chol produced eight points and four rebounds in 20 minutes.
In the first half, Lyons and Chol each had six points to lead the UA in scoring.
After the Wildcats fell behind by as many as four points early, Lyons singlehandedly gave Arizona the lead when he hit a three-pointer to pull the Wildcats within 14-13, then stole the ball on Colorado's next possession and came back for a reverse layup to put UA up 15-14.
The game stayed close the rest of the half, although Colorado foreshadowed the second half with a late push before halftime: Askia Booker hit a three-pointer, Shane Harris-Tunks scored and Andre Roberson threw down a dunk for the final score of the half.
• What: No. 9 Arizona at Utah
• When: 1 p.m. Sunday
• TV; radio: Pac-12 Arizona; 1290-AM, 107.5-FM