Booker leads Colorado past Cougars 68-63

Booker leads Colorado past Cougars 68-63

Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 5, 2014; Boulder, CO, USA; Colorado Buffaloes point guard Askia Booker (0) dribbles against the Washington State Cougars in the second half at the Coors Events Center. The Buffaloes defeated the Cougars 68-63.

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by Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on February 5, 2014 at 10:36 PM

BOULDER, Colo.  -- Askia Booker scored 26 points, including six of eight free throws in the final minute, and Colorado hung on to beat Washington State 68-63 on Wednesday night.

Xavier Johnson added 20 points and nine rebounds for Colorado (17-6, 6-4 Pac-12), which swept the season series with the Cougars. The Buffaloes won at Washington State 71-70 in overtime last month.

DaVonte Lacy, who missed the first meeting with a rib injury, scored a career-high 34 points for Washington State (9-13, 2-8). He also connected on a career-high eight 3-pointers.

Ike Iroegbu added 10 points for the Cougars, who remain winless in five conference games on the road.

Up by three at the half after a sluggish opening by both teams, Colorado got its offense going behind a torrid second half start by Booker, who had 21 of his points in the closing period.

He scored 12 of the Buffaloes' first 13 points in a four-minute stretch opening the period and Colorado surged to 34-23 lead with 16:01 left to play. Booker punctuated the flurry with four straight field goals for Colorado, including a breakaway dunk off of a steal.

Lacy connected on his fifth 3-pointer to stall Colorado's momentum but Booker hit a jumper before Johnson countered a layup Iroegbu by converting a three-point play.

The Cougars, who trailed by 15 after a layup by Johnson, fought back to within 60-53 on a dunk Junior Longrus with 1:15 left to play.

Lacy then hit a pair of 3-pointers in the waning seconds, pulling the Cougars to 66-63 with six seconds remaining. Booker was fouled an instant after the inbounds but he made both free throws with two seconds left to secure Colorado's victory.

Colorado was held to a season low at home in points in the first half but got a 3-pointer and a layup from Johnson around a layup by Jordan Railey late in the period to take a 23-20 lead.

Benefiting from a 9-0 run early on, the Buffaloes led 15-7. But Washington State got right back in it with three 3-pointers in a five-minute stretch, including two by Lacy to help even the score at 18-all with 3:57 left in the first half.


 

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