Colorado aims for rebound at Washington State

NCAA Men's Basketball

After a disappointing start to its road trip, Colorado is looking to split its two games through the state of Washington when it visits Washington State on Saturday night at Pullman.

The Buffaloes (11-4, 5-3 Pac-12) fell to Washington, 84-80, on Wednesday, ending their four-game winning streak and halting their momentum. Now they face a Cougars team that is on a four-game skid and looking to turn things around.

Saturday’s game was supposed to be the second between the teams. The first scheduled game between the teams, slated for Dec. 5 in Boulder, Colo., was postponed. The teams will face each other again on Wednesday in Colorado.

The Cougars (9-5, 2-5) have been outscored by an average of 17 points during their four-game losing streak. If they’re going to break out of the slump they’ll need to get leading scorer Isaac Bonton back on track. Bonton, who is averaging a team-best 17.8 points a game, had just four points in the loss to the Utah Utes on Thursday night. He entered averaging 21.7 points per game in conference play.

“Could’ve helped a lot, but we’ve got to be able to play better when he doesn’t do it,” said Washington State coach Kyle Smith, referring to Bonton’s scoring. “If we’re counting on it, that’s going to be a tough one. … I didn’t give him a good enough game plan.”

The Buffaloes are also looking for a turnaround after a disappointing loss to Washington. Colorado was just 1-for-18 from 3-point range and blew a double-digit lead to a team that had lost eight in a row.

Despite the poor shooting from long range the Buffaloes had 80 points, but poor defense did them in. The Huskies shot 64 percent in the second half and hit six of their nine 3-point attempts in the final 20 minutes.

“We’ve got nobody to blame but ourselves,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said Wednesday night. “I take responsibility and our players have to really look within themselves from a defensive standpoint and say, ‘Am I good enough at this level to stop somebody?’ The answer tonight was absolutely not. Not even close.”

–Field Level Media

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