It came down to a last-second shot, but the University of Washington men’s basketball team didn’t make it Saturday, losing 81-80 to the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Events Center Saturday (box). The Huskies have dropped three in a row and five of seven, while the Buffaloes leapfrogged them in the conference standings.
Trailing 81-78 with 0:56 to play, Washington benefited from a bone-headed technical foul courtesy of freshman guard Thomas Akyazili, who deliberately bumped Marquese Chriss after both were out of bounds during a dead ball period. Akyazili was whistled for the T, allowing Andrew Andrews to sink two free throws and UW retain possession. But it was the first of three possessions in the final minute in which the Huskies wouldn’t score.
Dejounte Murray missed a runner in the lane. Then with eight seconds left, Andrews made room for himself on a step-back jumper near the top of the key, but his shot hit the back iron and came out. A final heave with a second left went out of bounds.
Huskies (15-10, 7-6 Pac-12)
Washington shot 39.1 percent from the field. Defensively, the Huskies finished with 10 blocks and 12 steals, forcing 22 turnovers.
Chriss and Andrews both finished with 18, with Chriss recording his fourth career double-double on the back of 10 rebounds. Matisse Thybulle tied a career-high 16 points, while Dejounte Murray scored 14.
Buffaloes (19-7, 8-5 Pac-12)
Colorado out-rebounded the Huskies 55-35, including a 20-12 margin on offensive boards.
Redshirt junior guard Wesley Gordon led the Buffaloes with 17 points and 13 rebounds, eight on offense. Josh Fortune finished with 13, while Dominique Collier, Tre’Shaun Fletcher, and George King each scored 10.
“We’ve been in these crunch-time games a lot, and they usually they go our way. I was expecting (Andrews’ shot) to go in.” – Thybulle on the last-second jumper.
“I know we’ve dropped a couple in league, but we are going back home now. This group, I think, doesn’t have quit in them. We’ll come back and hopefully put forth a better effort. I think we understand now that in terms of an NCAA tournament berth, our backs are against the wall. We’re not out of it by any stretch of the imagination, but we’re up against it now.” – coach Lorenzo Romar
Washington returns home to face California (16-8, 6-5 Pac-12) at 8 p.m. Thursday (FOX Sports 1), before facing Stanford (11-11, 4-7) Saturday at 5 p.m. (Pac-12 Network).