The last time Colorado played Washington, Askia Booker had one of the worst games of his career.

On Sunday, the Buffaloes' junior made up for it.

Booker had 20 points and tied his career-high with seven assists in the Buffs' 91-65 blowout of the Huskies at Coors Events Center.

It was quite a change from that game on Jan. 12, when he went 0-for-9 from the floor and finished with zero points and three turnovers in a 71-54 loss to the Huskies.

"I took it personal," Booker said. "(Washington) probably thought I was a little soft or not mentally tough. But, (Washington sophomore Andrew) Andrews after the game told me, 'Wow, you're pretty good.' That's a good feeling."

Booker sank a 3-pointer early on Sunday and finished with 16 points in the first half - matching the best first half of his career.

"I told myself I was going to be aggressive, take shots when I'm open and take good shots," he said. "The first game (on Jan. 12), I took a lot of forced shots, quick shots."

Sunday was just the latest in a series of good performances from Booker. Ever since that Jan. 12 game, when Spencer Dinwiddie suffered a season-ending injury, Booker has stepped up.

He has averaged 17.0 points and 5.1 assists in the seven games without Dinwiddie.

"He's playing with the mentally that, quite frankly, we've wanted him to play with since he got here," CU head coach Tad Boyle said. "With Spencer going down, he feels it's incumbent upon him to have that role.


"I'm really proud of him for playing the way he's playing. His mindset is really good right now."

Gordon out

Already missing Dinwiddie and Tre'Shaun Fletcher (who was also injured on Jan. 12), the Buffs played without freshman forward Wesley Gordon on Sunday, too.

Gordon slipped on the ice Sunday morning and twisted his left ankle and banged up his knee. He walked into the arena on crutches Sunday night and sat behind the bench with Dinwiddie.

"I got a text from the trainer this morning," Boyle said. "(Gordon) is going to be OK, but wasn't able to play tonight. It was severe enough to hold him out."

True freshman Dustin Thomas got his first career start in Gordon's place.

Hopkins shines

Another true freshman, Jaron Hopkins, had a great game off the bench. He finished with a career-high 10 rebounds to go along with five points. He also had a monster dunk in the second half and, along with Xavier Johnson, shut down Washington's C.J. Wilcox.

Hopkins took over Dinwiddie's starting job last month, but struggled in five games as a starter. He has blossomed in the past two games since going back to the bench.

"I don't know if its taken pressure off of him or not, but I thought Jaron was terrific tonight," Boyle said. "I'm so proud of him. He took on a defensive challenge, too, with Wilcox. I'm really proud of Jaron, how he's handled it."

Bouncing back

On Wednesday against Washington State, Josh Scott had just one point and one rebound while be double-teams all night. Sunday, he had 20 points and eight rebounds.

"I didn't rebound well (against Washington State)," he said. "Not very much you can do offensively with three people in the paint.

"Tonight I just played my game like I did the other night and it all worked out."


Wilcox was 7-for-12 from 3-point range and scored a career-high 31 points against the Buffs on Jan. 12. Sunday, he was 0-for-7 from behind the arc and had a season-low eight points. ... CU's 18-6 record is its best after 24 games since the 1968-69 team also started 18-6. ... Sunday was just the fifth time this season that CU held the lead wire-to-wire. ... Prior to Sunday's game, CU honored former Daily Camera sports editor Dan Creedon, who passed away last fall.

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