Fatigued Colorado holds off Washington 81-80

M. Thybulle made Three Point Jumper. (0:18)

1H (18:54) WASH Matisse Thybulle made Three Point Jumper. (0:18)

BOULDER, Colo. -- Wesley Gordon trudged toward the locker room, too wiped out to do more than shuffle his sneakers.

That kind of exhausting day. That kind of exhausting stretch, for that matter.

Gordon scored a career-high 17 points and grabbed a critical rebound in the final seconds to help Colorado overcome fatigue and a furious Washington rally for an 81-80 win on Saturday.

"I'm pretty tired," said Gordon, who was looking forward to a cold-tub plunge. "But I feel all right."

Colorado (19-7, 8-5 Pac-12) actually looked surprisingly fresh even after Thursday's exhausting double-overtime victory over Washington State. In that game, the Buffaloes had several players set career highs in minutes.

After his team overcame weariness, Washington's late comeback and even a foolish technical foul that nearly swung the momentum, coach Tad Boyle decided to give his team Sunday off from practice. After all, it's Valentine's Day.

"Another nail-biter," Boyle said. "That game didn't need to be as close as it was."

George King had 10 points and 10 rebounds as the Buffaloes nearly squandered a 17-point lead. Big man Josh Scott was on the bench for a second straight game because of a sprained left ankle.

But Gordon stepped up -- again. He also had 13 rebounds, giving him his third straight game with a double-double.

Marquese Chriss and Andrew Andrews each had 18 points for the Huskies (15-10, 7-6), who've lost three in a row. Andrews had a good look at a potentially game-winning shot with 5 seconds left.

From the same spot he hit the winner a year ago, no less.

Only this time, it rimmed out and Gordon grabbed the rebound.

"It felt good when it left my hands," Andrews said. "You gotta roll with the punches though. I'll take those shots. I like that situation."

Held quiet most of the day, Andrews caught fire in the final 5:13. His 3-pointer with 1:38 remaining cut the lead to 79-78.

King hit a pair of free throws to extend the lead. But then Thomas Akyazili was whistled for a technical foul when he pushed a Washington player and had some words. Andrews hit two free throws to make it 81-80 with 56 seconds remaining and Huskies retaining possession.

Washington then turned the ball over. Colorado ran some time off the clock before missing a shot.

The Huskies had two late shots at the win, including Andrews' jumper that was just off the mark.

"If you haven't come to the last two Colorado games, you're missing out," Boyle said. "Not always prettiest form of basketball but really fun basketball."

Washington worked its way back into the game with suffocating defense. The Huskies forced six turnovers and held Colorado to just a pair of free throws in the opening five minutes of the second half to trim a 12-point deficit to 48-47.

The Buffaloes didn't break a sweat at practice Friday in order to conserve energy following that draining win over Washington State. The team simply shot free throws and held a scouting meeting.

Early on, the Buffs showed no signs of fatigue. They went on a 12-0 run to take a 33-16 lead. The half ended in dramatic fashion, with Gordon tipping in a rebound just before the buzzer sounded to give them a 46-34 halftime lead.

Scott warmed up before the game but didn't play. He still found a way to stand out by wearing neon orange sneakers as he sat on the bench. Scott leads the team in scoring (16.7) and rebounds (9.1).



Washington: Andrews went over the 1,600-point mark for his career. He becomes the fifth player under Romar to reach that milestone. ... Matisse Thybulle finished with 16 points.

Colorado: Akyazili had nine points, all in the second half. ... This is the ninth time Colorado has had 19 wins in the regular season, the fifth under Boyle.


Boyle wasn't pleased with Akyazili picking up a technical in such a tight game.

"That can't happen at that point of the game," Boyle said. "We have to play with poise."


Of Gordon's 13 rebounds, eight were on the offensive end.

"Wes Gordon was relentless, he just attacked us," said Washington coach Lorenzo Romar, whose team was outrebounded by a 55-35 margin. "The offensive rebounds by him were the ones that hurt us."


Washington hosts California on Thursday.

Colorado plays at USC on Wednesday.