What went right: CU outrebounded Washington State 40-29 and shook off recent struggles at the free throw line to go 19-for-22.
What went wrong: The Buffs’ defense was dreadful, particularly along the perimeter. The Cougars shot 53.8 percent overall from the floor and went 13-for-26 on 3-pointers.
Star of the game: Derrick White. The senior guard finished with 25 points, six assists, and five rebounds while sending the game into overtime on two clutch free throws with 7.2 seconds remaining in regulation.
What’s next: The Buffs return home to face Oregon State on Thursday night (6:30 p.m., FS1).
PULLMAN, Wash. — The Colorado men’s basketball team keeps finding new and ever more heartbreaking ways to disappoint.
This time it was a stirring rally late in regulation that went for naught, as Washington State outlasted the Buffs for a 91-89 overtime win Saturday afternoon at Beasley Coliseum.
The loss extended the longest losing streak of the Tad Boyle era to seven games and left the Buffs limping home with an 0-7 mark in the Pac-12 Conference heading into Thursday’s home date against Oregon State. CU also has lost 10 consecutive road games in the Pac-12.
Combined with Wednesday’s overtime loss at Washington, Saturday’s result marked the first time the Buffs have played back-to-back overtime games since the first two games of the 1996-97 season, both of which were victories. It is the first time CU has lost back-to-back overtime games since the latter stages of the 1991-92 season.
“They all sting. This doesn’t sting any more or less than the Washington game, or the (USC) game, or the Arizona State game,” Boyle said. “They were all one-possession games that have not gone our way. They’re all one-possession games where we’ve had the lead late, and we can’t finish it off because we’re unable to get stops.
“That’s the really, really frustrating thing about this team right now. We’re just not good enough on the defensive end. Washington State, give them credit, they made some great shots. But a lot of that with our defense, because this is a team that scored 47 points against Utah’s defense (on Wednesday).”
After trailing throughout the latter stages of the first half and much of the second half, the Buffs finished regulation on a 14-4 run, erasing a 10-point WSU lead over the final 3 minutes, 30 seconds and sending the game to overtime on a pair of Derrick White free throws with 7.2 seconds left.
CU was able to jump to a quick four-point lead early in the extra session and still led by two with under two minutes remaining, but the Buffs went scoreless the rest of the way while the Cougars scored four points in the final 40 seconds, including what proved to be the winning layup by Ike Iroegbu with 10.5 seconds remaining.
A potential winning 3-pointer from White was off-target just before the final buzzer.
“We can’t take a moral victory for fighting down the stretch,” said White, who led CU with 25 points. “We’ve just got to guard, simple as that.”
The Buffs entered the game focused on slowing WSU’s inside tandem of Josh Hawkinson and Conor Clifford, and on that front, the Buffs succeeded. Though Hawkinson finished with 18 points he was held to just six rebounds, while Clifford was limited to just two shot attempts and four points.
However, CU’s perimeter defense once again was nearly nonexistent, as the Cougars connected on a season-high number of 3-pointers while going 13-for-26. Combined with the 7-for-13 mark from beyond the arc Washington compiled after halftime on Wednesday, and CU’s defense has allowed its opponents to shoot an improbable .513 (20-for-39) on 3-pointers over the past 50 minutes of basketball.
“It’s just pride … not taking pride on the defensive end,” CU junior George King said. “Like coach said at practice, when teams see Colorado on the schedule now this year, they’re smelling blood. We’re getting exposed defensively right now, and that needs to stop.”
WASHINGTON ST. 91, CU 89, OT
Gordon 5-6 5-5 15, Collier 0-2 0-0 0, White 8-16 8-8 25, G.King 5-8 3-4 16, Johnson 7-9 1-2 17, Miller 3-7 0-0 6, Siewert 0-2 0-0 0, Fortune 1-2 0-0 2, Akyazili 0-3 2-2 2, Brown 1-6 0-0 2, Peters 2-6 0-1 4. Totals 32-67 19-22 89.
WASHINGTON ST. (10-9)
Hawkinson 7-12 3-4 18, Clifford 2-2 0-0 4, Iroegbu 8-16 4-5 20, Callison 12-16 0-0 30, Flynn 2-8 0-0 6, Franks 0-6 1-3 1, Daniels 4-5 0-1 12. Totals 35-65 8-13 91.
Halftime — Washington St. 39-35. End Of Regulation_Tied 83. 3-point goals — Colorado 6-21 (G.King 3-5, Johnson 2-4, White 1-6, Gordon 0-1, Collier 0-1, Akyazili 0-1, Siewert 0-1, Brown 0-2), Washington St. 13-26 (Callison 6-9, Daniels 4-5, Flynn 2-6, Hawkinson 1-2, Franks 0-1, Iroegbu 0-3). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — Colorado 37 (G.King 9), Washington St. 27 (Iroegbu 8). Assists — Colorado 17 (White 6), Washington St. 17 (Flynn 6). Total fouls_Colorado 17, Washington St. 19.