Mon, 08 Mar 2021

Washington State looks to turn tables on Colorado

Field Level Media
27 Jan 2021, 06:19 GMT+10

Neither the Colorado Buffaloes nor the Washington State Cougars have to dust off any film to get ready for their game in Boulder, Colo., on Wednesday night.

Considering the two teams met four days ago in Pullman, Wash., the memories are fresh and the adjustments should be quick.

The Buffaloes (12-4, 6-3 Pac-12) will likely enjoy viewing the game more than the Cougars. Colorado rallied from 18 down, overcame a brief absence of leading scorer McKinley Wright IV and avoided a sweep of a two-game road trip through the Pacific Northwest with a comeback victory.

While Wright's return from what looked at first like a serious left leg injury suffered early in the first half was inspirational, it was the play of Evan Battey that sparked the Buffaloes' 70-59 win. He had 16 points and helped start a turnaround from an early 23-5 deficit.

"Evan really stepped up his game, his talk and his energy level," Colorado coach Tad Boyle said after the win. "I think the rest of the guys fed off Evan's energy. I think our guys learned a lot about themselves tonight."

The good news for the Buffaloes is Wright, who somewhat favored his left leg in the second half, appears to be fine. His presence will be a key for Colorado during its five-game homestand that begins with Washington State.

The Cougars (9-6, 2-6) have lost five in a row, four by double figures, and are struggling to find answers. It won't get easier, either, with a four-game road trip starting with the Buffaloes.

Washington State was able to hold Wright to 12 points in Saturday's meeting, but Battey proved to be a problem for them. He was 6 for 11 from the field.

"When they made their push, we caved a little and couldn't gain our footing," Cougars coach Kyle Smith said after the loss. "We'll have our hands full going back to Boulder."

Washington State got strong games from Isaac Bonton (21 points) and Noah Williams (16), but when Smith went to his bench the reserves had trouble scoring -- or even trying to score. The bench had just five points and attempted only five shots.

"We need depth," Smith said. "We need some other players to emerge there."

--Field Level Media

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