Booker, Colorado snap 4-game skid, beat WSU 90-58
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) Colorado rebounded from a last-second loss to Washington on Thursday night by jumping to an early double-digit lead and never letting Washington State into the game in the Buffaloes’ next time out.
Askia Booker scored 21 points to lead six players in double figures, and Colorado snapped a four-game skid by routing Washington State 90-58 on Saturday night.
”It’s a lot better feeling today than it was Thursday night,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle, whose team lost 52-50 three days ago, said. ”I think you saw what this team is capable of doing … and we did it without two of our best players. We’re starting to see some guys step up, gain confidence and evolve before our eyes.”
Jaron Hopkins added 13 points and Wesley Gordon had 10 points and 14 rebounds for Colorado (10-9, 3-4 Pac-12). The 32-point margin was Colorado’s biggest of the season even though the Buffaloes were again without Josh Scott (back) and Xavier Johnson (ankle).
”I definitely think we had a bit of an edge tonight,” said Xavier Talton, who finished with 10 points. ”We dropped four straight and tonight we bounced back.”
Josh Hawkinson and Davonte Lacy had 12 points apiece to lead Washington State (9-10, 3-4), which lost its third in a row.
Up by 16 at the break, the Buffaloes opened the second half with an 11-5 burst capped by a 3-pointer by Hopkins to stretch their lead to 58-36.
Later, the Buffaloes hit three 3-pointers on successive possessions – two by Booker and the other by Gordon as Colorado opened up a 28-point lead with 9:20 remaining. Soon thereafter, Colorado began substituting freely.
”It does (hurt), but let’s give credit to Colorado,” Washington State coach Ernie Kent said. ”That’s as well as I’ve seen them play in a while. When you talk about the injuries, they don’t have two guys that are potential NBA players sitting on that bench, I thought they played a wonderful game.”
Colorado, which made 34 of 62 (54.8 percent) shots, including 11 of 22 from 3-point range, built a 47-31 lead at the half. The Buffaloes got 3-pointers from Booker and Gordon and a dunk from Tory Miller over the last four minutes of the opening period.
Washington State shot just 38.7 percent on 62 field goal attempts, shooting 5-of-20 from 3-point range and 5-of-11 from the free throw line, and was outrebounded 44-28.
Washington State: The Cougars are still looking for their first win against the Buffaloes since Colorado joined the Pac-12 Conference four years ago. … The Buffaloes scored more 3-pointers in a game (11) than any other Washington State opponent this season.
Colorado: Senior guard Askia Booker did not start after being late for a team meeting, coming off the bench four minutes into the game. … Josh Scott has missed six of the last seven games because of a back injury. … Xavier Johnson, who served a one-game suspension Thursday against Washington for violating a team rule, missed the game with an ankle injury.
Washington State: hosts California on Thursday night.
Colorado: plays at Southern Cal on Thursday night.