BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — The Colorado Buffaloes had mixed feelings when they saw Washington's fantastic freshman Markelle Fultz in sweats on the sideline during warm-ups Thursday night.
"I was bummed," said Derrick White, who scored 16 points in Colorado's 81-66 victory over the Fultz-less Huskies. "I wanted to go against him. ... But we couldn't dwell on it too much"
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said Fultz's knee has been bothering him for a while and the team decided the soreness and swelling was too much for him to play Thursday night.
"This week he wasn't able to practice," Romar said. "We sat him out. He was feeling a little better, but we decided to keep him out. It's kind of day to day."
Fultz scored a season-high 37 points in an 85-83 overtime win over Colorado on Jan. 18.
When one of his assistants ran to tell him that Fultz, projected as a potential top pick in this year's NBA draft, was sitting this one out, Colorado coach Tad Boyle raced to update his scouting report and caution his players not to overlook the rest of Washington's roster.
"You hate to see a good player like that not play because he's special," Boyle said after his 200th career victory. "However, it did not break my heart."
Fultz's 23.2-point average leads all freshmen and he's the only player in the NCAA averaging 20 points, six assists and six rebounds. Without him, the Huskies (9-15, 2-10) had no answers for Colorado's balanced scoring attack — six Buffs scored in double figures led by George King's 21 points to go with 12 rebounds.
"We've said all year long the strength of our team is the balance and the depth," White said.
The Buffaloes (14-11, 4-8 Pac-12) won for the fourth time in five games despite behind short-handed themselves. Boyle said suspended senior starters Wesley Gordon and Xavier Johnson will be back Sunday against Washington State. They missed their second consecutive game for unspecified violations of team rules. Also out was Deleon Brown with a concussion.
Washington coaches had to restrain the team's only senior, Malik Dime, who walked up to a student heckler and slapped him in the face after the halftime buzzer sounded. Dime, who's from Dakar, Senegal, was sitting out his ninth consecutive game with a broken right pinky.
"I'm aware of it," Romar said. "I don't know anything about the details. I will look into it."
The Huskies visit Utah on Saturday. They lost 94-72 to the Utes last month in Seattle.
The Buffaloes host Washington State on Sunday night before their final road trip, to Oregon.