You can be sure that next season the Huskies are going to think twice before agreeing to a game in Las Vegas. Colorado demolished Washington from the opening tip by a score of 92-69 as the Dawgs fell to 0-3 in Las Vegas and 1-6 overall.
Coach Hopkins made some changes to the starting lineup by inserting Nate Pryor and RaeQuan Battle with the hopes of jumpstarting the offense. That didn’t exactly work out. Battle hit a runner in the lane on UW’s first offensive possession and from there they went (as they have so often this year) completely ice cold. Colorado did not feel the chill as they made their first 3 baskets and after 5 minutes amounted an 11-2 lead.
Jamal Bey hit a 3-pointer but it was certainly not the start of a Washington run on offense. Colorado’s offense remained brutally efficient as their 7’0 center Dallas Walton was able to hit a variety of hook shots and midrange jumpers over the outstretched fingers of UW’s big men on the way to an eventual game and career high 22 points. Colorado went on an 18-4 run (after starting out on an 11-5 run) to take a dominant 29-9 lead with 9:10 remaining in the game.
The way Washington’s offense was playing tonight the game was essentially over at that point but they decided to play the final 31 minutes anyways. The bright spot for the Huskies at that point was Riley Sorn who built off his career high 10 points against Montana and blew it out of the water. The Husky offense revolved around either drawing in the defense and dishing it to Sorn for a dunk. Or else missing a layup and letting the 7’4 Sorn grab the rebound and put it back in. He had 12 points on 6/7 shooting and 8 rebounds including 5 on offense in the first half for the Dawgs.
He ended up playing as much as he did because Nate Roberts had 3 fouls in the first half as Washington committed 11. Colorado entered the game 5th in the country in free throw percentage and lived up to the billing making 11/12 in the first frame. That along with 62% shooting from the field resulted in a 52-30 halftime lead for the Buffs.
Any hope that Colorado would come out of halftime in a slump after a short intermission was put to rest quickly. They got a layup and an open corner 3-pointer on the first 2 possessions and the lead quickly vaulted over 25 points again. Jamal Bey got his 2nd made shot from behind the arc and Riley Sorn was able to find a couple of dishes from Nate Pryor for points but again Washington’s offense showed no flow or consistency as Colorado led 75-47 with 10 minutes remaining.
Around that time the Huskies largely waved the white flag as only a few starters remained on the floor and Marcus Tsohonis and J’Raan Brooks got in the game for the first time. Unsurprisingly, Colorado’s lead continued to grow and hit a high point of 36 points at 88-52. Tsohonis though looked like a man who is disappointed he’s lost his spot in the rotation. He hit his first 4 shots for 14 points to spark a 15-0 UW run in the final few minutes to make the score look much more respectable for those that didn’t watch it.
Riley Sorn was UW’s player of the game with a team high 16 points to go along with his 8 rebounds. Washington’s starting guard tandem of Quade Green and Nate Pryor combined to take 31 shots and made just 11 of them including 0/7 from 3-pt range. The team as a whole shot again an abysmal 4/18 from deep.
Yet as bad as the offense was, it was the defense that made any thought of a Husky comeback impossible. Colorado put up Stephen Curry like shooting splits as a team at 49.2%/42.1%/92.9% FG/3pt/FG including 26 of 28 from the free throw line.
The Huskies mercifully get a long break before the start of the full conference schedule as their next game comes on New Year’s Eve at home against Arizona.