Wilcox, Huskies Scorch Buffs; Dinwiddie Injures Knee
SEATTLE – The Colorado Buffaloes suffered their first Pac-12 Conference defeat on Sunday afternoon – 71-54 to Washington – but they left for Boulder hoping they hadn’t absorbed a larger loss.
The No. 15 Buffs (14-3, 3-1) appeared to dictate the pace for much of the first half at Alaska Airlines Arena, leading by as many as seven points. But they struggled to find a rhythm after losing junior guard Spencer Dinwiddie to a knee injury with 2:51 left in the half.
Dinwiddie finished with 7 points and 1 assist in 15 minutes. Speaking with reporters after the game, CU coach Tad Boyle expressed concern over the injury to CU’s leading scorer.
"My gut says it's not good, but we'll see," Boyle said. "If he's out, he's out. I feel so bad for the kid because he's worked so hard, but we'll have to wait and see."
CU, still off to its best start since the 2005-06 season, had no answer for UW’s C.J. Wilcox. He finished with a game and career-high 31 points on 12-of-18 shooting and was deadly from downtown. The senior guard hit seven three-pointers, including five in the second half, to put the game out of reach.
“Every time he shoots it, you think it’s going in,” Boyle said. “He’s got such a good stroke a good release and he gets it off quickly. A guy who plays without the ball like that is pretty special.”
Colorado committed a season-high 20 turnovers and shot just 1-for-12 (.083) from beyond the arc. Josh Scott, who has now scored in double figures in eight consecutive games, paced the Buffs with 15 points.
“The second half, boy we shot ourselves in the foot. You turn the ball over 20 times against a good team and you’ve got six assists, it’s just a recipe for disaster,” Boyle said. “They’re a good team and they’ve got good players and they’re playing well right now.”
Wesley Gordon, who finished with a season-high 13 rebounds and 11 points, collected 11 boards in the first half en route to posting his first career double-double. Gordon said he came in “focused and thought about being more aggressive on the offensive end and being more aggressive on the boards – and that worked out fairly well.
“I was just trying to do my job, really. It just felt good for me. I blocked a couple of shots and then I realized I was starting to have a good game, so I just started being more aggressive on defense and offensively.”
Gordon called Dinwiddie’s absence “a big loss for our team, just because Spencer has done so much, not only offensively but defensively. C.J. Wilcox just went off on us in the second half and no one could guard him. Spencer contained him pretty well in the first half. He guards the opponents’ best player every night, so we’re going to have to figure something out because that’s one of our best defenders.”
Said Scott of Dinwiddie’s loss: “He’s our point guard, our floor general. When he isn’t there, it’s a big-time deal. I think everybody knows when he’s not playing or if he doesn’t play, it’s a big deal. Again, I don’t think we can put this on Spencer being out. I think this one’s on us that played, because we have the talent.”
Washington stormed out in the second half with a pair of early three-pointers by Wilcox and Andrew Andrews to erase a four-point halftime deficit, and the Huskies never looked back. They shot a blistering 66.7 percent from the field in the second period (16-of-24), including 70 percent (7-10) from beyond the arc, and capitalized on a number of second-half miscues by the Buffs. CU coughed the ball up 11 times in the second half, which led to 21 Husky points.
Scott’s play was a bright spot for the Buffs in the second half. After a relatively quiet first half, the sophomore forward exploded for 13 points on 3-of-4 shooting and connected on all 7 attempts from the free throw line.
CU returns to the Coors Events Center next week to play UCLA and USC. The Buffaloes tip off against the Bruins Thursday at 6 p.m. before playing the Trojans at noon Saturday.