BOULDER, Colo. — Tyler Bey made his presence felt in returning from a hand injury that ended his lengthy streak of consecutive starts.
Bey scored 16 points, McKinley Wright IV had 15, and No. 23 Colorado beat Washington 76-62 Saturday night, snapping a five-game losing streak to the Huskies.
“It was great to go out there and compete with my teammates, especially in a ‘W’ against a team we haven’t beaten since we’ve been here,” said Bey, who missed Thursday night’s win over Washington State with a hand injury suffered in practice earlier in the week. It was the first time in his career that he had missed a game after 75 consecutive starts.
Lucas Siewert added 12 points for Colorado (16-4, 5-2 Pac-12), which has won nine of its last 11 games.
“We dodged some bullets,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “We got stagnant offensively. We got a little stale, but we never let that lead get cut into single digits, so that was based on our defense and rebounding.”
Freshman standout Isaiah Stewart had 23 points and four blocks, including two on a driving Bey on consecutive possessions, for the Huskies.
Colorado registered its first win over the Huskies since an 81-66 victory on Feb. 9, 2017.
“Coach (Mike Hopkins) said we beat this team five games in a row, so they were going to come out hard,” Stewart said. “It’s like their Super Bowl. They want to beat us. That’s what they did and obviously we weren’t ready for it.”
Nahziah Carter and RaeQuan Battle added 12 points each for Washington (12-9, 2-6), which lost its third straight, its longest losing streak of the season. The Huskies lost their previous two games by a combined four points.
Colorado outshot the Huskies from the floor 45.3% to 41.8% and won the rebounding battle 40-31. Washington was whistled for three technical fouls that resulted in five made free throws for the Buffaloes.
Trailing by 18 at the half, the Huskies put together a 9-2 run, on 3-pointers by Carter, Jamal Bey and Hamier Wright, closing within 64-53 with 10:33 left. Stewart’s layup with 6:36 left cut Washington’s deficit to 10 points.
Colorado didn’t let Washington get any closer. And, with the Huskies’ using a pressing defense in an effort to force turnovers, McKinley Wright found a wide open Tyler Bey under the basket for a dunk with 2:35 left that gave Colorado a 14-point lead, the final margin.
Colorado closed out the last 1:52 of the first half on a 7-0 run, capped by Dallas Walton’s short jumper in the lane for a 51-33 lead. Carter’s 3-pointer with 3:43 remaining in the first half was Washington’s final basket in the period.
Washington: Washington fell behind badly in the first half, when Colorado made all seven of its 3-pointers, and could not sustain a comeback bid in the second half.
Colorado: The Buffaloes frustrated the Huskies with a tight zone defense in the first half, when they built an 18-point lead. They shot just well enough to close the door in the second half.
Washington has the tallest roster in the Pac-12, with seven players listed at 6-9 or taller. Boyle said the Buffaloes won the rebounding battle by aggressively boxing out Washington in the low post.
“Another key was being physical on our box-outs, because you get in a jumping contest with Washington, you’re going to lose,” he said. “At least the Buffaloes are. Maybe other people can beat them, but we can’t, so you’ve got to be physical with your box-outs and there was some grown-man rebounding in there tonight. We were in there battling and that’s what I like to see.”
Colorado won its 34th straight game when limiting the opposition to 62 or fewer points.
Washington hosts Arizona on Thursday night.