SEATTLE — Evan Battey has been surging. Lucas Siewert was coming off his most ineffective game of the season. And so Colorado head coach Tad Boyle juggled his starting lineup for one of the few times this season and the first time in over a month.
Battey received just his second start of the season and his first since the season-opener against Drake. However, very quick foul trouble for Battey brought Siewert off the bench in a hurry in the Buffaloes’ 64-55 loss at Washington, and Siewert responded with a solid effort on the heels of his zero-rebound outing three nights earlier against Washington State.
Battey picked up his first foul just 1 minute, 26 seconds into the game and went to the bench with his second foul less than two minutes later. He finished with four points and four rebounds in 17 minutes. Battey fouled out with 4:20 remaining after also fouling out in the waning moments at Washington State.
“A couple of the fouls, I don’t want to give up layups,” Battey said. “I’m that type of guy that I don’t give up layups. You can have threes, you can have jump shots, but I’d rather foul you than give up a layup. That’s my type of approach to basketball. I’m a hard-nosed guy.”
Siewert scored only four points but bounced back from his rough night at WSU to grab seven rebounds, the second-most in the game behind teammate Tyler Bey’s 11. It was the first time all season Siewert came off the bench, and it was only the sixth time this year Boyle did not utilize the typical starting lineup of Siewert, Bey, McKinley Wright, Shane Gatling, and D’Shawn Schwartz.
“We’ll take seven rebounds out of Lucas, and I thought he could’ve had three or four more,” Boyle said. “He had some that he didn’t come up with. We need Lucas to be an aggressive rebounder. He wasn’t in Pullman, but he was tonight. But we need it consistently.”
UW senior Matisse Thybulle showed the Buffs why he is well on his way to winning his second consecutive Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award, as he finished with six steals and five blocked shots.
Thybulle is the NCAA’s active career leader in steals, and his six steals Saturday pushed him past former Stanford star Brevin Knight and past the 300-steal threshold to move into second-place all-time in the Pac-12. With 301 career steals, Thybulle now trails only former Oregon State star and Hall of Famer Gary Payton (321).
Thybulle now has 96 steals this season and will likely soon break his own UW single-season record of 101 he set last season.
“Thybulle, he impacts the game unlike anybody I’ve seen probably seen since we coached Andre (Roberson),” Boyle said. “Defensively, he impacts the game more than any other college basketball player this year that I’m aware of, and I haven’t seen all of them. He’s terrific. He had five blocks and six steals and he impacts the game on defense.”
Thybulle also scored a team-leading 17 points for the Huskies.
The Buffs lost a game in which they owned a double-digit rebounding advantage (plus-11) for the first time since a loss at Utah last year in the regular-season finale…Despite a .298 3-point percentage on the season, D’Shawn Schwartz went 6-for-9 in the two games against UW this season.