clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Buffaloes torn apart by Huskies, lose 64-55

Matisse Thybulle is a bad man, and he did bad things to Colorado.

NCAA Basketball: Colorado at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

After a demoralizing loss at Washington State (4-10) on Wednesday night, the Colorado Buffaloes (7-8) continued to struggle and were beaten up by the Washington Huskies (13-1). (This was always going to be a loss, but it does make the loss to Wazzu more frustrating, considering the bigger Pac-12 picture.)

From the very beginning, Colorado found just why the Huskies are 13-1 in conference and while allowing just 61 points per game. The Washington defense feels like they have 6 players on the floor. They’re an organized chaos of swiping arms and contesting hands, and they have omnipresent game-wrecker Matisse Thybulle roaming the hellscape. Thybulle had 4 steals in 9 minutes of play time. That’s absurd! The Huskies also had 4 first half blocks, many more tips and deflections, and did their best to force CU into 9 turnovers and 33% shooting from the field. (Full disclosure: I have no idea how Thybulle isn’t considered a lottery pick, much less a first rounder. He’s going to be a high-level NBA starter if he finds consistency with his shot.)

Colorado did adapt as the half continued, and they did hit a few open shots (huge congrats to CU here), but it was their rebounding and defense that (sorta) kept them in the game early on. Washington isn’t exactly a good offensive team, but CU stepped up to play physical defense, force contested shots and seal off the boards. Most of Colorado’s points came in transition off defensive rebounds, or on second chance points via their 10 offensive rebounds. It was an ugly half, to be sure, but considering their woeful offense, CU did fairly well for themselves to go into half down just 35-27. (I can recall maybe 6 of those 27 points. I have no idea how CU wasn’t trailing by 15+ at halftime.)

Washington ended the half on an 8-2 run, and they continued that immediately after half. Led again by Thybulle (who else?), this run soon turned into an avalanche. Just three minutes into the half, the Buffs trailed by 15 points and had little to no hope for a come back against that defense. At risk of mixing husky metaphors, once Washington smelled blood, they mushed away for the blowout win. (I wrote this before Washington went into a scoring drought and CU somehow cut the lead to just 9 before faltering to a not-so-blowout final score of 64-55.)

On a positive note, Tyler Bey did score 20 points and added some sweet dunks to his highlight reel. McKinley Wright also had some nice passes, though those were probably offset by getting his pocket consistently picked. I don’t really have any other thoughts I was mostly watching Thybulle and writing this recap during the second half. My bad. (But, like, did you see Thybulle? He had 7 steals and 5 blocks, and that’s just a normal game for him.)

Next up for the Buffaloes is a critical home game against Utah on Saturday, March 2nd (4:00, ESPNU). After their road sweep, CU absolutely needs this game (and a sweep over UCLA and USC) to finish top 4 in the Pac-12. The momentum from their 5-game winning streak died in Pullman, but they can still pull it together and finish strong. (I’m optimistic.)