With junior guard Spencer Dinwiddie possibly out for several games, Colorado's future in the Pac-12 this season is in question. After he sustained a serious-looking knee injury late in the first half, the Buffs fell 71-54 to the Washington Huskies on Sunday.
Dinwiddie left the game with seven points and an assist in the last few minutes of the first half. During a drive to the basket, Dinwiddie's knee gave in as he collapsed to the floor in tears and didn't return for the remainder of the game.
Following the game, head coach Tad Boyle said that the team wasn't sure how serious the injury was yet, but Boyle had a feeling that it wasn't good.
Prior to Sunday's game, Dinwiddie was averaging 15.2 points per game and 3.3 rebounds per game. If he is in fact out for a few games--or possibly even the rest of the season--the rest of the team will have to pick up their offensive game to compensate for the loss.
Freshman forward Wesley Gordon was the bright spot for the Buffs throughout the game. He recorded his first career double-double after contributing 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Sophomore forward Josh Scott led the team in scoring with 15 points.
Sophomore guard Eli Stalzer saw extended minutes in Sunday's loss after playing most of the second half; previously, he only played a maximum of six minutes a game this season. During his time on the court, he contributed two-points, a season-high two rebounds, and an assist.
For the game, the Buffs only managed to shoot 19-for-55 from the field (34.5%), 1-for-13 from the three-point range (7.7%), and 15-for-20 from the foul line. Much of their shooting woes began after Dinwiddie's departure.
On the other side of the ball, the Huskies dominated in shooting, mostly in the second half and thanks to superstar C.J. Wilcox. They went 26-for-55 from the field (47.3%), 9-for-20 from behind the arc (45.0%), and 10-for-12 (83.3%) from the charity stripe.
Wilcox was the nail in the coffin for the Buffs on Sunday. He recorded a career-high 31 points, 21 of which came in the second half, and he accounted for seven of Washington's nine three-point shots.
The first half remained neck-in-neck all the way through. With four lead changes and three tie-scores, the outcome of the game could have gone either way until Dinwiddie's departure.
Going into the half, however, the Buffs stayed out on top. Their biggest lead of the game came with a pair of free-throws from Tacoma native and Colorado freshman Tre'Shaun Fletcher with 4:50 left in the half when the Buffs lead 25-18.
Over the next five minutes, the Huskies outscored the Buffaloes eight-to-four, but it wasn't enough to overcome the deficit. The Buffs lead 29-26 going into the break.
To start out the second half, Jaron Hopkins sunk a free throw thirty seconds in to put the Buffs up 30-26. Then the Huskies started to take over. They went on a 7-0 run to start out the second and gained their third and final lead of the game.
It was the beginning of the end for the Buffs, and it was about to get much worse.
Hopkins cut the Huskies' lead to one with a two-point jumper on the next play, but that was the closest the Buffs would get to overcoming the deficit for the remainder of the game.
With just under 11 minutes left in play, the Buffs has suffered their largest deficit of the season of 14 points (55-41). Or so they thought. In the final six minutes of the game, they went down by as much as 17 points three separate times, including the final score.
Dinwiddie and the Buffs fell 71-54 for their third loss overall (14-3) and their first loss in conference play (3-1).
The wounded Buffs return to Boulder on Thursday night as they take on the UCLA Bruins at 6:00 p.m. in the hopes of keeping their perfect record at home alive.