PULLMAN, Wash. — Colorado head coach Tad Boyle basically is utilizing a seven-man rotation, with freshman guard Eli Parquet and third-year sophomore Alex Strating providing minutes when necessary.
Those minutes were very necessary Wednesday at Washington State, as an already patchworked rotation was further scrambled by early and pervasive foul trouble for the Buffaloes in their 76-74 loss.
Forward Tyler Bey still managed to produced his fourth double-double in six games (12 points, 12 rebounds) despite sitting the final 12 minutes, 24 seconds of the first half after picking up his second foul. Junior forward Lucas Siewert followed him to the bench at the 8:34 mark with his second foul, and by halftime D'Shawn Schwartz, Evan Battey, and Shane Gatling all had two fouls as well.
"The foul trouble was tough. We felt really good about being down two at the half," Boyle said. "Sometimes when the whistle blows you don't know what's coming. On nights like that, it makes it a little tough. It was one of those deals where the referees let the players decide the game. Their players made the plays. We didn't."
Schwartz, Battey, and Bey all picked up their third fouls in quick succession less than six minutes into the second half. Boyle lauded the defense Battey played against WSU's Robert Franks, the Pac-12's leading scorer, in the latter stages of the game, but Battey fouled out after recording 13 points and seven rebounds.
Slow month and missed chances
Parquet made a big play midway through the first half, recording a steal that he turned in to a breakaway layup and a 3-point play. It was his first field goal since the Buffs' previous game against Washington State on Jan. 10 in Boulder.
However, Parquet and Schwartz both missed easy opportunities that cost the Buffs. With the game tied late in the first half, Parquet received a pass from McKinley Wright under the hoop and attempted to dunk the ball in traffic instead of taking the easy layup. He missed, and WSU got a Robert Franks 3-pointer at the other end.
Schwartz suffered a similar setback in the second half. Grabbing an offensive rebound off a missed Wright 3-pointer, Schwartz was alone under the hoop and appeared indecisive between dunking the ball and laying it in. He missed, and this time it was WSU's Ahmed Ali that converted a 3-pointer at the other end.
CU's 11 turnovers matched its fewest in Pac-12 play. The Buffs also had 11 against Utah, Stanford, and Oregon State...Siewert went 1-for-7 on 3-pointers, dropping his 3-point percentage in Pac-12 play to .311 (19-for-61)...McKinley Wright became the 13th CU player to post 300 assists in his career.