Rarely do Lorenzo Romar’s Washington Huskies endure humiliations, but they absorbed a huge one Sunday night. After sleep-walking through the first seven minutes, during which they fell behind by 10, the Huskies napped the rest of the way to a 91-65 blowout loss to Colorado in Boulder. The altitude may have affected UW, but poor shooting and a horrific defensive effort ruined its chances from the start.
Colorado “posterized” the Huskies on several uncontested coast-to-coast dunks and even a 30-foot bounce pass, avenging a 71-54 loss to Washington a month ago at Alaska Airlines Arena. The Huskies, who lost their third in row on the road, were beat all over the floor in every way imaginable.
They shot just 32.3 percent, a season worst. They allowed 92 points, most since giving up 102 to Indiana. They were devastated on the boards 44-30 — as severe a beating as Washington has suffered all season.
In losing three in a row for the first time, Washington fell to 13-11 overall and 5-6 in Pac-12 play. The Huskies, who trailed by 30 points late in the second half, return home Wednesday to face Stanford and follow with California Saturday.
“We dug ourselves a deep hole early and when you play a good team on the road sometimes you can come back and sometimes you can’t,” said freshman Nigel Williams-Goss, who led UW with 15 points. “They came out ready to play and we didn’t match their energy. We’re not staying focused for a full game and we’ve got to sharpen that. We just didn’t come ready to play, that’s the bottom line.”
Colorado scored 17 of its 91 points off nine Washington turnovers.
“We had two days of practice (before this game) and I thought those practices were good and that we were dialed in,” said Romar. “I would not have guessed this would have been the outcome. It was very unfortunate.”
Symptomatic of Washington’s woes: When the Huskies defeated Colorado Jan. 12 in Seattle, senior guard C.J. Wilcox scored a season-high 31 points. Sunday, he had six in the first half and finished with a season-low eight, going 0-for-7 from 3-point range. Wilcox fired up three air balls, including a whiff on a 3-point attempt.
But it was a lack of defense that killed the Huskies. Three Colorado players exceeded 20 points — Xavier Johnson (27), Josh Scott (21) and Askia Booker (20). Johnson had 10 rebounds.
Colorado had not had a trio of 20-point scorers in a game since Feb. 3, 2007.
Colorado blew out to a 31-13 lead in the first 10 minutes — the Buffaloes nailed four of their first six shots from beyond the arc — and led by as many as 17 in the first half before Washington sliced the lead to seven at 37-30 at 5:18. But the Buffaloes ran their margin back to 16 before closing the half with a 48-33 advantage.
Led by Booker’s 16 points, Colorado dominated by knocking down 6 of 10 3-pointers and outrebounding UW 24-13. The Huskies didn’t show up defensively at all, allowing Booker to get to the rim six times unchecked in the first 20 minutes. Colorado’s 48 first-half points marked a season high.
After Xavier Talton opened the second half with a 3-ball for a 51-33 lead and the Huskies hit just 2 of their first 11 shots, the rout was on.
“We’re just hopeful that our team has good enough character, and I think we do, to regain our composure,” Romar said. “Now we’re back home for five and we need to get better this week.”