What went right: Not much, but imagine how bad the final score would have been if not for CU's 18-for-22 mark at the free throw line.
What went wrong: Everything else. ASU shot .571 to the Buffs' .328, and the Sun Devils outrebounded CU 42-28.
Star of the game: McKinley Wright. There were few highlights for CU, but the sophomore guard finished with a team-best 12 points alongside three assists, three steals, two blocks, and only two turnovers.
What's next: The Buffs play at home for the first time in a month when they host Washington State Thursday night (7 p.m., Pac-12 Network).
TEMPE, Ariz. — In another offensively-challenged loss at Arizona on Thursday, the Colorado men's basketball team at least made things interesting with a solid start.
Saturday's effort at Arizona State was a disaster pretty much from the opening tip.
Unable to slow a torrid offensive showing from the hosts while continuing their own run of futility on offense, the shorthanded Buffaloes quickly were run out of Wells Fargo Arena, suffering a 83-61 defeat in a contest that was over quickly.
It was the fourth loss in five games for the Buffs, who shot a season-low .328 while getting outrebounded 42-28. ASU shot .571 from the field, which counted as both a season-high for the Sun Devils and the top mark by a CU opponent this season. Much of that damage by ASU was done on easy layups and dunks in transition and even on back-door cuts in the half-court offense, leading to a whopping 50 points in the paint.
It also was the fifth straight game in which a CU team that averaged 84.3 points through its 8-1 start to the season has been held under 70.
"Tonight, we didn't guard very well at all," CU head coach Tad Boyle said. "We didn't execute our game plan tonight. Arizona State is a team that you want them to beat you with jump shots. That was the game plan going in. That's part of the reason we started in zone...but they ended up with 50 points in the paint. We're not doing anything well right now. Nothing well enough to win a league game on the road, that's for sure.
"This is the first time we've gotten our tails kicked. This was a whipping. We deserved it. We got what we deserved. And Arizona State deserves credit. They played with an edge and desperation."
Arizona State was less than 48 hours removed from allowing 85 points over the final 29-plus minutes in a home loss against Utah, yet the Buffs were helpless to expose those ASU defensive weaknesses. CU missed its first seven shots while the Sun Devils scored the game's first eight points, gradually building a 44-26 halftime lead.
Already playing without junior guard Deleon Brown, who has been ruled academically ineligible, the Buffs also played Saturday without senior guard Namon Wright, who aggravated a foot injury at Arizona. Compounding the manpower issues was the foul trouble suffered by D'Shawn Schwartz, who picked up two fouls in the game's first 1 minute, 18 seconds, and Tyler Bey, who played only six minutes in the first half before also going to the bench with two fouls.
CU trailed by 15 points with a little more than four minutes remaining in the first half before putting together it's most promising run of the game, using a 6-1 spurt capped by two Evan Battey free throws to pull within 10 points with 2:39 left in the half. But ASU outscored CU 10-2 the rest of the way and continued to pour it on in the second half, at one point pushing the lead to 26 points.
"Our confidence definitely wavers at times and it shows," Battey said. "We're not shooting the ball well. We're not passing well. All the things we're supposed to do, we're not doing it well. I thought we were getting good looks at the rim, but we didn't shoot it with confidence. Early we missed shots, and it spreads. When you make shots is spreads, but we missed shots early and it definitely affects the team."
ARIZONA ST. 83, COLORADO 61
COLORADO (9-5, 0-2 Pac-12)
Siewert 1-9 0-0 3, Parquet 1-5 0-0 2, M.Wright 3-9 5-7 12, Schwartz 2-6 5-5 10, Bey 3-8 1-2 7, Battey 2-4 3-4 7, Strating 1-1 0-0 2, Gatling 3-7 0-0 8, Kountz 3-9 4-4 10. Totals 19-58 18-22 61.
ARIZONA ST. (10-4, 1-1 Pac-12 )
Lake 5-6 2-4 12, Cheatham 4-7 4-5 12, Lawrence 3-6 3-4 11, White 9-11 1-2 19, Edwards 3-9 0-0 9, Cherry 2-4 0-1 6, Martin 0-2 0-0 0, Dort 6-11 2-3 14, Valtonen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-56 12-19 83.
Halftime — Arizona St. 44-26. 3-point goals — Colorado 5-26 (Gatling 2-5, Schwartz 1-3, M.Wright 1-4, Siewert 1-5, Battey 0-1, Bey 0-1, Kountz 0-3, Parquet 0-4), Arizona St. 7-21 (Edwards 3-7, Cherry 2-4, Lawrence 2-5, Martin 0-1, Dort 0-4). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — Colorado 25 (Bey 6), Arizona St. 37 (White 8). Assists — Colorado 10 (M.Wright 3), Arizona St. 24 (Martin 8). Total fouls — Colorado 21, Arizona St. 19. A — 10,003.