Colorado’s Spencer Diniwiddie makes a pass by Washington’s Darin Johnson before leaving Sunday’s game with a knee injury.
Colorado's Spencer Diniwiddie makes a pass by Washington's Darin Johnson before leaving Sunday's game with a knee injury. ( Elaine Thompson )

SEATTLE -- Spencer Dinwiddie slowly shuffled across the floor on Sunday afternoon, his left knee wrapped in a brace and his future -- as well as the future of the Colorado Buffaloes -- unsure.

The 15th-ranked Buffs were beaten by Washington, 71-54, but unfortunately, that may have been the good news from their trip to Alaska Airlines Arena.

During the first half, Dinwiddie, the Buffs' star point guard and a legitimate prospect for the 2014 NBA Draft, collapsed to the floor with an apparent injury to his left knee.

"I don't have a prognosis right now," CU head coach Tad Boyle said shortly after the game. "It didn't feel good, but we'll find out. Right now, I don't know. I'll have a chance to talk to (trainer Rawley Klingsmith) and then obviously he'll see our doctors when we get back, but right now I'm not sure.

"My gut is not good."

It certainly didn't look good from the moment Dinwiddie hit the floor with 2 minutes, 52 to play in the first half.

Dinwiddie was dribbling down the middle of the court and appeared to make a move to his right when his knee gave out and he lost the ball. The junior immediately clutched his left knee and was in obvious pain as Boyle and Klingsmith talked to him for a couple of minutes.

Teammates Xavier Johnson and Xavier Talton then helped him off the court and into the CU locker room.

"It's a big loss for our team, just because Spencer has done so much, not only offensively, but defensively," said redshirt freshman Wesley Gordon, who came through with a big game, scoring 11 points and pulling down 13 rebounds.

The long-term impact on the Buffs (14-3, 3-1 Pac-12) is not yet known, but the short-term impact was ugly.

Dinwiddie came into the day averaging a team-high 15.2 points per game, along with 3.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. He had seven points and one assist before his injury. More so than his production, though, the Buffs might have missed Dinwiddie's presence on the floor.

"I thought we finished the first half well," Boyle said. "I don't know if we were going on fumes or what, but the second half, boy we shot ourselves in the foot."

CU led the Huskies 25-22 at the time of Dinwiddie's injury and maintained a three-point lead, 29-26, into halftime. Washington (11-6, 3-1) dominated the second half, though.

Huskies star C.J. Wilcox finished with 31 points, 21 of them after the break. He made 12-of-18 field goals on the day, including 7-for-12 from 3-point range, helping the Huskies to out-score the Buffs 45-25 in the second half.

"It's something you don't want to wish upon anyone," CU's Eli Stalzer said of Dinwiddie's injury, "but as a team we have to put that aside, put our emotions aside and keep moving on. Tonight, it seemed like it was a struggle to do for us, but I thought we fought and gave what we could."

Offensively, the Buffs were a mess without Dinwiddie. They made just 34.5 percent of their shots and committed 20 turnovers in the game. The Buffs were 1-for-12 from 3-point range.

"Spencer keeps us together," Gordon said. "When he went down, everybody just felt like it was every man for himself. He can free you up for a jump shot just by him creating or things like that. When he went down, we felt like we had to get our own shots and that just went bad."

During a stretch of 7 minutes early in the second half, Wilcox scored 16 points, including four 3-pointers, to turn a four-point CU lead into a 53-39 Washington advantage.

Shortly after that, CU called a timeout and Dinwiddie, who had hobbled back to the bench, gave an animated speech to his team. Dinwiddie left the bench again after that timeout and didn't return. Dinwiddie was not available to the media afterward.

"He tried to inspire us to fight, because we're ranked and we're doing something special right now," Gordon said. "He tried to inspire us, but it didn't work; we needed him out there."

Washington stretched the lead after that timeout to 61-43. The 18-point deficit was CU's biggest of the season.

What started off as a solid game for CU turned into a nightmare in a hurry. But, sophomore center Josh Scott, who led the team with 15 points, said the Buffs can't use Dinwiddie's injury as an excuse.

"We didn't do what we needed to do," Scott said. "I don't think we can put this on Spencer being out. I think this one's on us that played, because we have the talent."

No question, the Buffs are talented, but the gloomy faces that walked out of the CU locker room on Sunday afternoon suggested that they expect to be without their most talented player for a while.

"I think everybody knows when he's not playing or if he doesn't play, it's a big deal," Scott said.

The Buffs won't have much time to recover from this one. A good UCLA squad will be in Boulder on Thursday.

"I think all of us that have been here, we all have to step up," Scott said. "It's time for the men to rise."

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.

Washington 71,

No. 15 Colorado 54

COLORADO

FG FT Reb

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

Booker 24 0-9 0-0 0-2 1 3 0

Gordon 27 5-7 1-2 7-13 0 1 11

Johnson 30 3-6 1-2 3-6 1 2 8

Dinwiddie 15 2-4 3-3 0-0 1 0 7

Scott 27 4-9 7-7 3-6 0 3 15

Talton 17 0-5 0-0 0-1 1 0 0

Stalzer 10 1-3 0-0 1-2 1 1 2

Fletcher 10 1-3 2-2 0-1 0 2 4

Thomas 14 0-1 0-2 2-3 0 2 0

Hopkins 20 3-8 1-2 1-1 1 1 7

King 3 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0

Mills 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 200 19-55 15-20 18-38 6 15 54

Percentages: FG .345, FT .750.

3-Point Goals: 1-12, .083 (Johnson 1-2, Dinwiddie 0-1, Stalzer 0-1, Hopkins 0-2, Talton 0-2, Fletcher 0-2, Booker 0-2).

Team Rebounds: 2.

Blocked Shots: 6 (Gordon 4, Hopkins, Johnson).

Turnovers: 20 (Talton 4, Booker 3, Johnson 3, Gordon 2, Scott 2, Thomas, Stalzer, Mills, Fletcher, Hopkins, Dinwiddie).

Steals: 3 (Talton 2, Hopkins).

Technical Fouls: None.

WASHINGTON

FG FT Reb

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

Blackwell 23 1-11 0-0 4-5 3 4 2

Williams-Goss 35 6-8 0-0 0-2 2 1 12

Anderson 31 0-0 3-4 3-10 1 1 3

Andrews 34 4-13 4-4 0-2 2 2 14

Wilcox 36 12-18 0-0 1-4 2 2 31

Johnson 16 1-2 3-4 0-2 0 0 5

Simmons 12 1-2 0-0 0-2 0 4 2

Kemp, Jr 13 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 4 2

Totals 200 26-55 10-12 9-30 10 18 71

Percentages: FG .473, FT .833.

3-Point Goals: 9-20, .450 (Wilcox 7-12, Andrews 2-5, Simmons 0-1, Williams-Goss 0-2).

Team Rebounds: 3.

Blocked Shots: 6 (Wilcox 4, Andrews, Blackwell).

Turnovers: 13 (Wilcox 3, Williams-Goss 2, Anderson 2, Johnson 2, Blackwell 2, Andrews 2).

Steals: 6 (Wilcox 2, Williams-Goss 2, Andrews 2).

Technical Fouls: None.

Colorado 29 25--54

Washington 26 45--71

A -- 6,742.

Officials -- Michael Irving, Bill Vinovich, Brett Nansel.