UW Can't Get Over The Mountain, Lose to Buffs

Andrew Andrews had a chance to stick a dagger in Colorado's heart for the second time in two years, but a 19-footer from the right elbow didn't go down and the Huskies didn't have enough to overtake the Buffs, as they scraped by with a 81-80 win over UW Saturday morning in Boulder.

Washington went on a 16-4 run late to get to within one, but Andrews' shot hit iron and Wesley Gordon grabbed the rebound for CU, who was fouled with 1.5 seconds left. 

The Huskies nearly got the break they needed when CU reserve Thomas Akyazili was called for a technical foul in front of the Washignton bench with 56 seconds to play and UW down three. 

Andrews made both technical foul shots, and on the next possession freshman guard Dejounte Murray tried a bounce pass inside to fellow frosh Marquese Chriss for a shot next to the cup, but the ball was judged to come off Chriss and out of bounds. 

“It was a matter of grabbing the ball, but there was a lot going on in the lane," Thybulle said of the turnover. "We knew Drew was going to make those shots, so we knew we were going to take the lead. But it wasn’t just about that one play; there was a lot of missed plays in the first half."

Colorado got the ball back and the Buffs' George King missed a running layin, but as had been a major problem with UW all game long - they couldn't come up with the rebound. Gordon pulled down the last of his eight offensive rebounds and was fouled. Gordon missed the first and intentionally missed the second.

UW called time out with one second to go to try and run a hail mary play from their baseline, but a pass from Thybulle to Marquese Chriss sailed over his head and the game was over. 

"It's unfortunate down the stretch," Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said post-game. "Andrew took the same shot he took in this building to win last year, but the ball didn't go down. We'll take that shot every day of the week."

“We’ve been in these crunch times a lot and it usually goes our way, so yeah - I was expecting it to go our way,” added Thybulle, who finished the game with 16 points and four rebounds. “Basically it came down to they played harder than us. We didn’t have enough at the end to fight back."

Gordon led four Colorado (19-7, 8-5) players in double digits with 17 points and 13 rebounds in Josh Scott's absence. Scott, Colorado's leading scorer, missed the game with an ankle injury.

“Knowing one of their best players (Scott) out thinking we could come in and it would be a little easier - we were wrong,” admitted Thybulle. 

Andrews and Marquese Chriss had 18 points apiece, and Chriss added 10 rebounds. Dejounte Murray added 14 for the Huskies (15-10, 7-6), who have now lost three straight.

It's a testament to Washignton's resilience that they were even in the game the second half, as they took a 46-34 deficit into intermission. Everything was going wrong for the Huskies, as it looked as if the atltitude and quick turnaround from their loss at Utah took a toll. They were out-rebounded 33-18, despite the Buffaloes not having Scott. Colorado also had 22 bench points the first half, as Josh Fortune scored 11 and Tre'Shaun Fletcher, questionable for Saturday's game, added 10. 

But UW came right out and forced two quick turnovers and held Colordo without a made basket until the 14:20 mark. By that time the Huskies had erased the Buffs' lead almost entirely. A Thybulle layup with 15:33 to play made it a 48-47 game. 

It looked like all the energy the Huskies used clawing back Colorado's was spent, as the Buffs raced out to another lead - this time as big as 15 points after a Fortune jumper gave them a 72-57 advantage with 7:38 to play. 

That's when the Huskies went on one last heroic charge. Andrews' made three with 1:38 remaining capped off a 21-7 extended run, but it could only get them to within 79-78. And for all the effort they were never able to take a lead once the entire game.

Romar refused to allow the atltude, or anything else for that matter, be brought up as an excuse. 

"If that really were the case, we couldn't have done what we did in the second half," he said. "We changed. Maybe they allowed it to let them bother them. You could feel it, but to a man they all thought they could handle it."

The Huskies head back to Seattle hurting. The loss to Colorado means they've lost three in a row for the first time all year long, and despite an over-.500 mark in league they are now on the outside looking in when it comes to an NCAA Tournament berth. 

"It hurts because of the effort we did not put forth in the first half," Romar said. "I really wish I knew the answer because I thought we were ready to play. We continued to talk, talked to them at halftime and the second half it kicked in. We just didn't have that type of effort in the first half. 

"We are going home now, and this group doesn't have quit in them. I like the fact we have winners on this team. In terms of an NCAA Tournament berth, our backs are against the wall. We're not out of it by any stretch, but we have to get going, and have to get going now."

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