Colorado (11-6) at Washington State (10-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 19, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Beasley Coliseum (11,671) -- Pullman, Washington. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Colorado 7-1. Washington State 8-2. Away Record: Colorado 1-5, Washington State 0-3. Neutral Record: Colorado 3-0, Washington State 2-2. Conference Record: Colorado 1-4, Washington State 1-3. Series Record: Colorado leads, 2-1.
GAMES NOTES: Andre Roberson and the Colorado Buffaloes will try to bounce back from a rough start to conference play in a Pac-12 tilt at Beasley Coliseum against Brock Motum and the Washington State Cougars.
Yet again Colorado found itself on the losing end of a conference collision on Wednesday in a 64-54 loss to Washington. The Buffaloes have lost four of five contests in league play. The tough stretch has dropped the Buffaloes to 11-6 overall. Like this contest, the loss to Washington came on the road where Colorado has just a single win in six tries. Colorado will play back-to-back home games next against Stanford and California.
The Cougars snapped a three-game losing streak on Wednesday with a 75-65 win over Utah. The triumph was the first in league play for Washington State. After the victory the Cougars are now 10-7 overall this season. The win against Utah came at home where the Cougars are a strong 8-2 on the campaign. Washington State will take to the road in its next two games against Oregon and Oregon State.
Last season these teams met for the first time as conference foes and for only the third time ever. Colorado took the win last year and now leads the all- time series 2-1.
Despite shooting worse than 40 percent from the floor in both halves against Colorado the Huskies still managed to grab the win by outscoring the Buffaloes 18-3 from beyond the arc while holding a 17-5 edge from the free-throw line in the final 20 minutes. Washington's defense on the inside wasn't stellar though as it was outscored 32-18 on points in the paint.
Although Colorado has fallen in four of its five conference games the Buffaloes have largely been competitive. Four of the losses have come by single digits including a heartbreaking loss in overtime to Arizona in the conference opener that still seems to be plaguing them. Four different players are scoring in double figures led by the backcourt duo of Askia Booker (14.6 ppg) and Spencer Dinwiddie (14.5 ppg). Although Booker is the top option he has been prone to erratic shooting efforts by hitting just 39.2 percent of his shots from the field. Roberson (10.9 ppg, 11.8 rpg) leads the league in rebounds and is also among the top 10 in the Pac-12 in blocks and steals. Josh Scott (13.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg) is another solid scorer.
In its win over Utah, Washington State shot at an even 50 percent clip, including an impressive 11-of-20 effort from beyond the arc. Carrying the load from deep was Mike Ladd who nailed 5-of-8 shots from 3-point range for a game- high 22 points. The Cougars also secured the win thanks to a 28-11 edge on points off turnovers.
More often than not it has been Washington State's defensive efforts that have pushed it to victory. The Cougars are allowing just 58.5 points per game on just 40 percent shooting. The Cougars' opponent scoring average is the 30th best nationally. However Washington State hasn't made it easy for itself by struggling on the offensive end. The Cougars are scoring just 64.2 points per game on 43.4 percent shooting. The poor offensive showings come despite the efforts of Motum. The 6-foot-10 forward is the second leading scorer in the Pac-12 (19.4 ppg), while he also manages to pace the team on the glass (6.5 rpg). Ladd (10.6 ppg) has been turning into a solid second option by scoring in double figures in the last five games.
Sooner or later Colorado is going to manage to get on the winning side of one of these close games and against a Washington State team that doesn't have a ton of offensive punch, that time might be now.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Colorado 69, Washington State 64
01/19 10:32:07 ET