Colorado (10-3, 2-1 in Pac-12) turned it on offensively midway through the second half, taking the lead with 10:20 to go and never giving it back to WSU. The Cougars (8-6, 1-2) would pull within three with a minute to go but the Buffaloes would seal the game on a Elijah Parquet layup.
In their first game in just over two weeks, the Cougars came into Boulder without their star guard Noah Williams, who didn’t travel with the team because of COVID issues. Tyrell Roberts would get the start in his place.
It was a back-and-forth first half with nine total lead changes. The birthday boy, T.J. Bamba, got the party started early for WSU, scoring eight of the Cougars first 11 points and picked up the assist on the other three points. Efe Abogidi took the baton from Bamba to end the first half, scoring 13 points to lead all scorers going into the halftime break with the Cougars leading 38-37.
The game remained close throughout the second half. The Buffaloes came out of the locker room on fire, knocking down their first six shots of the half. WSU kept the Buffaloes at bay until the 10 and a half minute mark. Jabari Walker hit a layup for Colorado that sparked a 9-2 run to give the Buffaloes their largest lead of the game at eight. Walker had zero points in the first half but finished with 14 points in the second half alone.
WSU’s offense snapped another infamous field goal drought that surpassed the four minute mark on a Michael Flowers three to pull the Cougars within five. Evan Battey responded by drawing an and-one against Dishon Jackson in the paint to push the Buffalo lead back up to six with three and a half minutes to go. After Roberts knocked down an elbow jumper to pull the Cougars back within four, Jackson would foul out on another Colorado and-one. Abogidi followed suit by fouling out just 55 seconds later.
Colorado seemingly could just ice the game with a pair of free throws, but a technical foul was called on Colorado for having six players on the floor. Tyrell Roberts would hit the technical free throw and Colorado only hit one of two free throws to make it a five point game, giving the Cougars some life. Bamba hit a driving layup to pull the game back within a possession with just over a minute to go before Parquet sealed the game for Colorado with a layup.
WSU’s defense had no answer for the Buffaloes throughout the second half as the Buffs shot 61.5% from the field. Battey once again created problems for WSU, leading the Buffaloes in scoring with 19 points. Roberts would make up for the loss of Williams and a poor shooting night from Flowers with a game-high 21 points. The loss is the Cougars forth in their last five contests.
It’s a quick turnaround for the Cougars as they wrap up their mountain school road-trip on Saturday against the Utah Utes at 3 p.m. PT.