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Buffs Throttle Huskies For Fifth Straight Win As Boyle Earns No. 300

Jan 9, 2022

 

BOULDER — Colorado's Tristan da Silva poured in a career-high 22 points and the Buffaloes gave coach Tad Boyle his 300th career win Sunday, topping Washington 78-64 at the CU Events Center.

The win, CU's fifth in a row, improved the Buffaloes to 11-3 overall and 3-1 in Pac-12 play. The Huskies fell to 6-7, 1-2.

Da Silva was one of three Buffs in double-figure scoring. Freshman guard Julian Hammond III added a career-high 14 points and sophomore Jabari Walker collected his seventh double-double of the season, finishing with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Cole Bajema led the Huskies with 18 points, but CU's Elijah Parquet held Terrell Brown — the conference's leading scorer — to 12 points on 4-for-16 shooting.

The Buffs dominated UW on the boards, 47-27, and shot 48 percent from the floor (31-for-64). Colorado also held the Huskies to just 36 percent shooting (21-for-58).

CU did finish with 14 turnovers, but just two in the second half.

"We did a much better job of taking care of the ball in the second half," said Boyle, whose record at Colorado now stands at 244-146. "We had some solid performances off the bench and we were aggressive. When we're aggressive, we're pretty darned good."

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado led by 11 at halftime, 39-28, and built the margin to 15 early in the second half on an Evan Battey bucket inside.

But the Huskies slowly battled back and used a 7-0 run to cut Colorado's lead to five, 48-43, with 12:23 left to play.

The Buffs, though, answered with a decisive run. CU got three unanswered baskets to push the margin back to 11 as Parquet scored on a layup, Battey followed with a basket inside and da Silva drove the lane to push CU's lead back to 11, 54-43.

"I had an opportunity today and I was aggressive," said da Silva, whose previous scoring high was 15 points (twice). "My teammates got me the ball and I took advantage."

Colorado then continued to build its lead, pushing the cushion to as much as 17 with just under five minutes to play when a Walker bucket gave CU a 69-52 edge. Hammond helped CU build its lead with a pair of 3-pointers en route to his career high.

Hammond was part of an outstanding effort from CU's reserves. Along with Hammond's 14 points, sophomore Nique Clifford had eight points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots; and sophomore Luke O'Brien had five rebounds and four assists.

"We had some really good play off the bench," Boyle said. "We're still a team with a huge ceiling and we have to continue to get better. But I'm really pleased with tonight's game."

The Buffs also helped their cause by eliminating turnovers. After giving the ball away 12 times in the first half, CU had just one turnover in the first 16 minutes of the second.

After Walker's bucket gave CU a 17-point lead, Washington never mounted another serious threat down the stretch.

Colorado's defense was solid for 40 minutes, holding the Huskies to just 36 percent shooting, including a woeful 4-for-16 day from Brown, who came into the game averaging more than 21 points per game.

"Elijah is an elite defender when he dials in, and he did that tonight," Boyle said.

The first half featured seven lead changes in the first 13 minutes before Colorado finally took the lead for good with an 11-0 run that turned a one-point deficit into a 10-point lead, 33-23.

Da Silva fueled the run with seven points. The CU sophomore started the surge with a jump hook inside, then added another drive to the bucket before finishing the burst with a 3-pointer.

The Huskies momentarily closed the gap to seven, but Colorado answered again with six points in the final 2:27 while holding UW scoreless in that stretch. The final six points added up to a 17-5 Colorado run over the last seven minutes of the half and CU took a 39-28 lead into halftime.

While Colorado did commit 12 turnovers in the first 20 minutes — resulting in 10 Huskies points — CU also had a commanding 23-8 edge on the boards.

300 AND COUNTING: Boyle said his 300th career win "means I've coached some really good players and I've had great coaching staffs. I'm just fortunate to be the head coach at Colorado."

Boyle's 244 wins at Colorado are the second-most on CU's all-time list, trailing only Sox Walseth, who finished with a 261-245 record at the men's helm.

TURNING POINT: After Colorado took the lead with 7:05 to play in the first half with an 11-0 run, the Buffs never trailed again. But Washington did make one more charge in the second half, cutting CU's lead to just five. But the Buffs answered with an 11-2 run to regain control and the Huskies never threatened again.

WHAT IT MEANS: Colorado improved to 3-1 in Pac-12 play by holding serve at home in conference play (3-0 at the Events Center). Equally importantly, the Buffs gained some momentum and confidence as they head into a crucial two-week stretch that will see them play three top-10 teams in their next four games: No. 5 UCLA, No. 7 USC and No. 8 Arizona.

KEY STATISTICS: The Buffs had a dominant effort on the boards, outrebounding the Huskies 47-27 … CU held Washington to just 36 percent shooting (21-for-58) while shooting 48 percent (31-for-64) … CU had a 38-20 edge in points in the paint … While Colorado finished with 14 turnover, the Buffs had just two in the entire second half.

QUOTEWORTHY: "We have to continue to get better. These next two weeks, we'll find out a lot about ourselves."CU head coach Tad Boyle.

NEXT UP: The Buffs head to the desert next week for a pair of Pac-12 games, beginning with a 9 p.m. Thursday encounter at No. 8 Arizona (FS1). The Buffs then head to Tempe on Saturday for an 8 p.m. game against Arizona State (ESPN2). Colorado returns home the following week to host USC (Jan. 20) and UCLA (Jan. 22).

Contact: Neill.Woelk@Colorado.edu