(15) Colorado (13-2) at Washington State (7-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 8, 9 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Spokane Arena (14,000) -- Spokane, Washington.
Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Colorado 11-0, WSU 4-2. Away Record:
Colorado 2-0, WSU 1-3. Neutral Record: Colorado 0-2, WSU 2-2. Conference
Record: Colorado 2-0, WSU 0-2. Series Record: Colorado leads, 3-1.
GAME NOTES: Fresh off a big win over Oregon, the 15th-ranked Colorado
Buffaloes hit the road to face the Washington State Cougars in a Pac-12
Conference matchup at Spokane Arena.
Even though the Buffaloes were forced to play at a faster pace than they are
used to, they showed their resolve in taking down the then 10th-ranked Ducks,
100-91, on Sunday. The win was the third straight for Colorado, which has
risen in the national rankings and owns a 13-2 overall mark. The Buffaloes
have played only two true road contests, but have won both. They visit
Washington State has had a brutal start to its conference schedule. The
Cougars were routed, 60-25, by No. 1 Arizona last Thursday, and three days
later were trampled by Arizona State (66-47). This is a quasi-home game for
the Cougars, who will be playing at Spokane Arena for the first time since
losing to Oregon, 92-75, in the venue during the 2011-12 season. Washington
State will entertain Utah next.
Colorado won both meetings between these teams a season ago, and leads the
relatively new series, 3-1.
Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie each scored more than 20 points, and Josh
Scott logged a double-double (15 points, 12 rebounds) in a surprising display
of offense from Colorado against Oregon. The Buffaloes nailed 56.4 percent of
their shots from the floor and got 33 points from the free-throw line to make
up for 16 turnovers.
It is not as if Colorado cannot score. After all, the Buffs are fifth in the
Pac-12 in scoring at 78.1 ppg. However, they are just ninth in the league in
field goal percentage (.458) and next-to-last in assists (12.9 pg). Dinwiddie
(15.8 ppg, 4.1 apg) is the most important contributor on the roster, leading
the team in both points and assists. Booker (13.6 ppg) is hovering around the
40 percent mark in field goal percentage, but netted a career-high 27 points
on 8-of-16 shooting against Oregon. Scott (13.2 ppg, 9.5 rpg) is always a
threat for a double-double, and Xavier Johnson (10 ppg, 6.2 rpg) adds length
to the rotation.
Another dismal offensive showing doomed Washington State against Arizona
State, as the Cougars only connected on 34 percent of their attempts from the
floor, while totaling eight assists against 14 turnovers. Que Johnson scored a
team-high 18 points, but he was the only player to tally more than seven
The offensive end of the floor has presented Washington State with all kinds
of problems this season, as the team is dead last in the Pac-12 in a number of
statistical categories, including scoring (65.7 ppg), assists (11.2 apg) and
field goal percentage (.423). The lack of firepower is unfortunate,
considering how stout the Cougars have been on defense. Opponents are scoring
only 63.6 ppg on 43 percent shooting them. DaVonte Lacy (17.7 ppg) is the
team's leading scorer, but he didn't look like it against the Sun Devils, as
he posted only four points in the loss, playing 11 minutes in his return after
missing two games due to an emergency appendectomy. Royce Woolridge (9.8 ppg)
is typically the club's second option.
Colorado will more than likely get back to its slower pace against the
defensive-minded Cougars. A different tempo won't stop the Buffs though, as
they have proven to be able to handle just about anything the opposition
throws at them.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Colorado 69, Washington State 58
01/08 10:36:31 ET
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