Wilcox leads Washington men to win over No. 15 Colorado
C.J. Wilcox drained seven three-pointers and scored a career-high 31 points and the Huskies defense shut down No. 15 Colorado, which lost leading scorer Spencer Dinwiddie to an injury, for a 71-54 victory Sunday in front of 6,742 at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Seattle Times staff reporter
After 12 straight defeats, the Washington men’s basketball team finally beat a ranked team.
C.J. Wilcox drained seven three-pointers and scored 31 points — both career highs — and the Huskies defense shut down No. 15 Colorado, which lost leading scorer Spencer Dinwiddie to a knee injury, for a 71-54 victory Sunday afternoon.
“On our side we’re in a good mood (because) we were able to come up with a victory against a quality team, but whenever you play the game you hate to see something happen like what happened to Spencer Dinwiddie,” UW coach Lorenzo Romar said. “We hope everything is all right.”
Colorado led most of the first half, but Washington seized control after Dinwiddie took an awkward step on a fast break and crumpled to the court clutching his left knee. Two CU teammates helped him limp to the locker room with 2:52 left and he did not return to the game.
The Huskies trailed 29-26 at the break.
The second half belonged to Washington and Wilcox.
The Huskies outscored the Buffaloes 45-25 after intermission with 21 points coming from their sharpshooting star.
Wilcox led a 25-7 run to start the second half and his sixth three-pointer put Washington up 51-39 with 12:51 left. His final three gave the Huskies their biggest lead (61-43) at the 6:46 mark.
“Every time he shoots it, you think it’s going in,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “He’s pretty special.”
Wilcox, who converted 12 of 18 field goals and sank 7 of 12 three-pointers, finished his personal-best scoring performance with a steal and fast-break dunk that sent the 6,742 at Alaska Airlines Arena into a frenzy.
“Just waiting for the game to come to me,” Wilcox said. “And my teammates finding me. That’s usually how it goes.”
Wilcox also had four rebounds and four blocks , and Andrew Andrews added 14 points and Nigel Williams-Goss had 12.
Collectively, the trio scored 80 percent of Washington’s points and converted 22 of 39 field goals (56.5 percent). Everyone else combined for 14 points on 4-for-16 shooting.
But Washington’s backcourt easily overpowered Colorado after Dinwiddie went down.
“They shoot 66 percent in the second half,” Boyle said. “They got going. They have good shooters. They’re a good team. ... They beat us like a drum.”
Washington (11-6) moved into a third-place tie in the Pac-12 standings with Colorado at 3-1. The Buffaloes are 14-3 overall.
The 54 points were a season low for the Buffaloes, who averaged 77.6 points. Their 20 turnovers were a season high.
The Buffaloes attributed their miscues to Dinwiddie’s absence. The 6-foot-6 junior guard, who is a projected first-round pick in the 2014 NBA draft, leads CU in scoring and assists. He had seven points in 15 minutes before the injury.
“He’s our point guard, he’s our floor general,” said Buffs forward Josh Scott, who scored 15 points. “When he wasn’t there, it was a big-time deal.”
With Dinwiddie out, the Huskies turned their defensive attention toward stopping junior guard Askia Booker, CU’s second-leading scorer and the reigning Pac-12 player of the week.
Booker missed all nine attempts and went scoreless for the first time since his freshman season.
“(Dinwiddie) is their leader,” Wilcox said. “He’s a really good player and he gets a lot of stuff going for them. When he went down, they didn’t have too many options aside from Askia and we did a really good job on him. It was tough for them to make baskets.”
Dinwiddie’s injury hearkened memories of Texas A&M senior guard Derrick Sloan breaking his leg at Alaska Airlines Arena on Dec. 23, 2009. The Huskies’ 73-64 victory over the No. 19 Aggies was their last regular-season win against a ranked team.
“Great kid. Outstanding player,” Romar said about Dindwiddie. “Let’s just hope he wakes up tomorrow and is feeling a lot better.”
Colorado officials said Dinwiddie will undergo medical tests Monday to determine the severity of the injury. However, the early prognosis is the Buffs could be without their star for the rest of the season.
“Right now I don’t know,” Boyle said. “My gut is not good, but we’ll see.”
• Rainier Beach High School senior David Crisp committed to Washington via his Twitter account. The 6-1 point guard also had offers from Boise State and Nebraska. Reportedly he’ll attend a prep school next season and enroll at UW in 2015.
Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or email@example.com. On Twitter @percyallen.