GAME NOTES: The 15th-ranked Colorado Buffaloes will attempt to remain perfect in Pac-12 Conference action on Sunday afternoon when they head to Alaska Airlines Arena to tangle with the Washington Huskies.
At 14-2 overall, Colorado has matched the 1968-69 team for the best start in program history, as it has risen to No. 15 in the national rankings thanks in large part to a signature win over Kansas on Dec. 7, 75-72. The Buffs are 3-0 in the Pac-12, most recently squeaking by Washington State on Wednesday night in overtime, 71-70, to remain perfect on the road (3-0).
Washington has enjoyed a solid campaign at 10-6 overall, which includes an 8-2 mark at Alaska Airlines Arena. The Huskies have won two of three to open up league play, most recently holding off Utah on Wednesday night, 59-57.
Washington holds a slim 8-7 lead over Colorado in the all-time series, which includes six wins in seven matchups in Seattle.
Despite trailing Washington State for most of its latest contest, Colorado was able to step up when it needed to most and eventually took control in the overtime period to hang on for the one-point win. It was merely a modest shooting night for CU, making 41.2 percent of its field goal tries (including just 3-of-13 from 3-point range), but it made up for it by shooting 26-of-38 from the foul line, while WSU was just 3-of-3 at the stripe. Josh Scott was the catalyst with 19 points (on 8-of-12 from the floor) and nine rebounds, while Askia Booker (18 points) and Xavier Johnson (14) were also impressive.
On the season, the Buffs have impressed on both ends of the floor, shooting 45.5 percent from the field for 77.6 ppg while allowing just 67.9 ppg on 42.4 percent shooting, and they also help themselves as one of the nation's best rebounding teams, pulling in 39.1 rpg for a +8.8 margin. Spencer Dinwiddie (15.2 ppg) shoots nearly 42 percent from beyond the arc and has more than twice as many assists (63) as turnovers (29). Booker (13.9 ppg), Scott (13.6 ppg, 9.4 rpg) and Johnson (10.3 ppg) are integral pieces to the puzzle as well.
The Huskies held on to their slim lead late in the second half to capture a two-point home victory. They shot a solid 47.9 percent from the field on the night, but they scored just 59 points and kept the game close throughout by committing 14 turnovers, losing the rebounding battle (31-26) and shooting just 8-of-14 from the free-throw line. Andrew Andrews was strong in the victory with 19 points on 8-of-14 from the floor. C.J. Wilcox made 4-of-6 from 3-point range on his way to 14 points and Nigel Williams-Goss netted 13 points.
Washington is normally a much more effective offensive team, as it shoots 45 percent from the field (including 35.2 percent from 3-point range) for 77.8 ppg. It also helps itself greatly in close games with an impressive .764 free- throw percentage. Wilcox is the Pac-12's second-leading scorer with 19.8 ppg, doing so on strong percentages from long distance (.419) and the charity stripe (.886). Andrews pours in 13.1 ppg, Williams-Goss (12.4 ppg) dishes out a team-high 4.1 apg and Perris Blackwell (11.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, .574 FG percentage) mans the paint.
While Washington has impressed in Seattle this season, Colorado has shown time and again that it is up to the challenge heading out on the road. The Buffs have done a great job defeating teams they're supposed to, and that trend should continue against the Huskies.
Game Date and Time