Skip to main content

Buffs Rally Comes Up Short At Washington

Jan 27, 2022


SEATTLE, Wash. — Another furious Colorado rally came up just short Thursday as the Buffaloes dropped a 60-58 decision to Washington at Alaska Airlines Arena.

Tad Boyle's Buffs fell to 13-7 overall and 5-5 in Pac-12 play while the Huskies improved to 10-8, 5-3.

Jabari Walker was the only Buff in double figures, finishing with 14 points and nine rebounds. Elijah Parquet and Keeshawn Barthelemy each scored nine for CU.

Terrell Brown Jr., the Pac-12's leading scorer, tossed in 26 for Washington.

The Buffaloes shot just 34 percent from the floor (18-for-53),  committed 16 turnovers that led to 21 Washington points and gave up 15 offensive rebounds.

But despite their shooting and turnovers woes, the Buffs managed to cut a 15-point second-half deficit down to two in the final minute. CU had a chance to tie the game in the waning seconds but Walker's baseline shot drew iron and the Huskies won despite not scoring for the final four minutes of the game.

"Absolutely pathetic by the Colorado Buffaloes tonight," Boyle said in his post-game radio interview. "We could not have played worse. This is on us. This is totally on us. We got bullied tonight. We got punked, we got out-toughed and there's no excuse for it, and I'm the coach that let it happen."

HOW IT HAPPENED: Thursday was the third straight game in which the Buffs staged a big rally. They came up just short against UCLA a week ago after falling behind by 17, then came from 15 down to win at Oregon on Tuesday.

But their miscues proved to be too much to overcome against the Huskies, as their shooting woes couldn't make up for their turnovers. CU's 34 percent shooting effort was the Buffs' second-lowest of the season, and it included an 8-for-24 night from 3-point range.

"To go to Oregon and win by three and turn it over 17 times gave us a false sense of security because we made shots," Boyle said. "Tonight we didn't make shots and we turned it over 17 times and gave up 15 offensive rebounds."

Early in the game, Colorado looked ready to win its third straight road game. The Buffs led by as much as seven in the first half and still had a one-point edge, 32-31, at intermission.

But everything went south in a hurry for CU after halftime. The Huskies turned up their defensive pressure and the Buffs cooperated by committing six turnovers in the first 10 minutes while also missing eight of their first nine shots.

That stretch produced a 19-3 Washington run that included a 10-0 surge at the end, resulting in a 52-37 UW lead with 9:54 remaining in the game.

"Our turnovers were because they stole the ball from us," Boyle said. "When somebody steals the ball from you, it means you ain't tough enough and you're not making good enough decisions. When we got it in the paint, we got great shots. But they stole our ball 16 times before we could even get it in the paint."

Still, the Buffs managed a comeback despite their problems. Colorado ended a five-minute scoring drought with an Elijah Parquet 3-pointer, then slowly cut the deficit back down to six, 59-53, on a 3-pointer from Julian Hammond III and a Walker dunk with 4:45 to play.

Washington hit a free throw to push its lead back to seven, but neither team then scored over the ensuing three minutes before the Buffs pulled to within four, 60-56, on another Parquet 3-pointer with 1:23 to play.

The Huskies then virtually invited the Buffs to take control.

Washington then missed a free throw with a minute to go and Hammond hit two free throws with 58 seconds left to pull Colorado to within two, 60-58. Washington's Brown then missed two more free throws with 24 seconds remaining, giving CU one last shot at a tie.

But a Walker fadeaway from the baseline came up short and the Huskies held on for the 60-58 win, despite not scoring in the last 4:18 of the game.

"Our leading scorer came up a little short," Boyle said. "If we could have gotten that thing in overtime, momentum was on our side. But we didn't get it done. That's not what cost us the game. We didn't deserve it."

After trading the lead with the Huskies three times in the first nine minutes of the game, CU took control with a 9-0 run, turning a 15-13 deficit into a 22-15 lead. Barthelemy started the surge with a 3-pointer and Walker followed with a drive to the bucket before Clifford made it seven in a row with a fastbreak dunk.

That brought on a Washington timeout, but the Buffs added two more to the run after the break with two Walker free throws.

Washington, however, slowly chipped away and outscored Colorado 11-5 over the last three minutes of the half to cut the Buffaloes' lead to one, 32-31, by intermission. 

The Buffs committed seven turnovers in the first half, but just one in the final 11 minutes. Still, UW converted those miscues into eight points.

While CU was just 9-for-30 from the field in the opening half, the Buffs maintained their lead by hitting 10 of 12 free throw tries.

TURNING POINT: Colorado let the game get away in the early minutes of the second half, when the Huskies used a 19-3 run to take a 52-37 lead. Although the Buffs whittled away at the deficit, they never led again.

WHAT IT MEANS: A great opportunity for a Pac-12 road win went by the wayside, and the loss drops Colorado into the lower half of the Pac-12 standings at the midpoint of the conference season.

KEY STATISTICS: The Buffs committed 17 turnovers that led to 21 Washington points … CU lost the rebound battle, 42-35, including 15 UW offensive rebounds … Colorado shot just 34 percent from the field … Washington dominated CU in the paint, 38-14.

QUOTEWORTHY: "I've never been more embarrassed after a loss that I can remember at Colorado in 11 and a half years. How the heck we had a chance to tie it at the end, I have no idea." — CU head coach Tad Boyle

NEXT UP: The Buffs wrap up a three-game swing through the Pacific Northwest on Sunday with an 8 p.m. game at Washington State (FS1). Colorado then returns home for three in a row, beginning with an 8 p.m. Thursday matchup with Oregon at the CU Events Center (FS1). They then play host to Oregon State on Saturday (4 p.m., FS1) before wrapping up the homestand by playing host to Utah in a 6 p.m. game Feb. 12 (Pac-12 Networks).