Tad Boyle didn't celebrate. He simply exhaled.

Colorado's assertive 87-69 victory over Washington on Thursday night at the Coors Events Center will have the young Buffs and the 7,110 fans who witnessed the performance first hand dreaming of a Pac-12 championship.

But the job of the coaching staff today will be to keep the hyperbole in check, clean up a laundry list of mistakes, and get the team prepared for Saturday's game against Washington State.

"The thing about college basketball, unfortunately, is sometimes it's hard to enjoy the journey," Boyle said after the Buffs (10-4, 2-0) won their fifth consecutive game and remained perfect in their new conference. "Winning is almost a relief sometimes."

Carlon Brown scored 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting -- converting one field goal after making a Kobe Bryant-like pass to himself off the backboard -- to lead the balanced offensive attack.

Spencer Dinwiddie (13 points), Austin Dufault (13), Askia Booker (12) and Nate Tomlinson (11) also scored in double figures as CU shot 49.1 percent from the field.

Andre Roberson added eight points, including a dunk over 7-footer Aziz N'Diaye, and his usual 12 rebounds.

And Sabatino Chen (three key baskets) and Jeremy Adams (six points and five rebounds) also made key contributions off the bench.

"I felt it was a big victory for us, a big confidence boost," Roberson said. "I feel like we are a top contender in this league. And if we keep striving in practice, we'll be where we want to be."

Carlon Brown of CU flies over Aziz N’Diaye of Washingtonduring the first half of the January 5, 2012 game in Boulder.For more photos of the game, go
Carlon Brown of CU flies over Aziz N'Diaye of Washington during the first half of the January 5, 2012 game in Boulder. For more photos of the game, go to www.dailycamera.com. January 5, 2012 / Cliff Grassmick ( CLIFF GRASSMICK )

The high-flying Huskies (8-6, 2-1) were averaging 80.6 points before running into a 5,345-foot wall.

CU held Washington, which made nine layups in the first half alone, to 37.5 shooting (27-for-72) for the game.

"Our defense really created some offense for us," Boyle said. "I thought our guys played with heart and unbelievable toughness."

Tony Wroten, the reigning Pac-12 player of the week, lived up to the hype. The freshman finished with 21 points, seven steals and six rebounds.

Early in the second half, Wroten made two steals and emphatic dunks to get the Huskies within six points.

CU answered the challenge with a 21-7 run that included 10 made free throws and was capped with back-to-back 3-pointers by Booker that made the score 63-43 with 11:18 remaining.

"We couldn't sustain it," Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar said of the momentum. "It always starts with defense. We played a little bit of defense and got on a little bit of a roll. ... I would like to say (the altitude) affected us, but we played this way against Saint Louis and South Dakota State and there was no altitude, so I can't blame it on that."

CU led 40-30 at halftime after shooting 47.1 percent from the field and holding Washington to 13 made field goals on 40 attempts (32.5 percent).

The Buffs turned the ball over on each of their first three possession and fell behind 7-0 after a 3-pointer by Terrence Ross.

"We kind of played into their hands, speeding up and not taking care of the ball," Brown said of the poor start. "Once we got the first five, seven minutes out of us, we really showed our true game and what we're made of."

A 3-pointer by Dinwiddie got CU and the crowd into the game during a 7-0 run that cut the home team's deficit to 14-12. Chen's second layup in traffic tied the score and a three-point play by Adams gave the Buffs their first lead (19-16) with 9:40 left in the first half.

Brown's 3-pointer after a no-look, around-the-back pass from Tomlinson -- who played his best game since November -- made the score 36-28. Chen's third drive into the paint gave the Buffs the 10-point cushion at the intermission.

The Buffs will be reminded about their 17 turnovers and the Huskies' 20 offensive rebounds at practice today while also preparing for the Cougars, who are seeing red after a humbling 62-60 overtime loss at Utah.

"You can take confidence, but if we sit here and say, 'We beat Washington,' and come out and lose Saturday, what does that mean?" Brown said.

Colorado 87, Washington 69

WASHINGTON (69)

FG FT Reb

Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS

Gant 18 0-5 2-2 3-4 1 1 2

N'Diaye 14 1-4 0-0 2-2 0 2 2

Gaddy 33 2-5 0-0 0-3 1 3 4

Wroten 31 9-16 3-8 3-6 3 3 21

Ross 28 6-15 0-0 3-10 1 4 13

Stewart 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 0

Breunig 8 0-4 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Wilcox 30 6-16 4-4 1-2 0 3 19

Simmons 27 3-7 0-0 3-5 1 1 6

Kemp Jr 9 0-0 2-2 1-2 0 1 2

Totals 200 27-72 11-16 20-38 7 21 69

Percentages: FG .375, FT .688.

3-Point Goals: 4-20, .200 (Wilcox 3-9, Ross 1-5, Gant 0-1, Wroten 0-1, Simmons 0-1, Breunig 0-1, Gaddy 0-2).

Team Rebounds: 4.

Blocked Shots: 3 (Gaddy, Ross, Kemp Jr.).

Turnovers: 15 (Wroten 5, Wilcox 2, Gant 2, N'Diaye 2, Ross 2, Simmons, Kemp Jr.).

Steals: 9 (Wroten 7, Simmons 2).

Technical Fouls: None.

COLORADO (87)

FG FT Reb

Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS

Rbersn 32 3-7 2-2 3-12 0 1 8

Dflt 23 4-7 5-5 0-4 2 3 13

Tmlinsn 23 3-3 4-4 0-1 3 2 11

Dnwdie 30 2-8 8-9 0-2 5 3 13

Brown 28 7-11 1-1 2-2 0 0 18

Booker 23 4-8 1-2 0-4 0 0 12

Sharpe 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

H-Tunks 9 0-3 0-0 0-0 1 0 0

Chen 12 3-5 0-0 0-0 0 1 6

Adams 13 1-3 4-5 1-5 1 2 6

Cain 5 0-0 0-0 1-2 0 0 0

Eckloff 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 200 27-55 25-28 10-36 12 12 87

Percentages: FG .491, FT .893.

3-Point Goals: 8-14, .571 (Brown 3-3, Booker 3-5, Tomlinson 1-1, Dinwiddie 1-2, Adams 0-1, Dufault 0-1, Chen 0-1).

Team Rebounds: 4.

Blocked Shots: 4 (Roberson 2, Harris-Tunks 2).

Turnovers: 17 (Brown 4, Dufault 3, Tomlinson 2, Roberson 2, Cain, Booker, Sharpe, Dinwiddie, Eckloff, Adams).

Steals: 8 (Dufault 2, Harris-Tunks 2, Roberson, Dinwiddie, Chen, Adams).

Technical Fouls: None.

Washington 30 39--69

Colorado 40 47--87

A -- 7,110.

Officials -- Michael Reed, Bobby McRoy, Rick Batsell.