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Colorado holds off Washington in Pac-12 opener

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KJ Simpson had 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists as short-handed Colorado closed strong to defeat Washington 73-69 in the Pac-12 opener for both schools Friday night in Boulder, Colo.

Eddie Lampkin Jr. also had a double-double for Colorado (10-2) with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Luke O’Brien, Julian Hammond III and J’Vonne Hadley each scored 11 points for the Buffaloes, who finished with a 17-6 run to erase a seven-point deficit in the final 5:13.

Keion Brooks Jr., the conference’s leading scorer, had 20 points and eight rebounds for the Huskies (8-4), though he shot just 7 of 17 from the floor. Sahvir Wheeler added 17 points on 7-for-21 shooting and seven assists, and Moses Wood scored 14, making four 3-pointers.

The Buffaloes played without forward Tristan da Silva, who injured his ankle during practice Thursday. Colorado was also without forwards Cody Williams (wrist) and Bangot Dak (illness) and guard RJ Smith (leg). Guard Javon Ruffin made his season debut after overcoming a knee injury but was scoreless in six minutes.

The Huskies used an 18-5 run midway through the second half to turn a six-point deficit into a 63-56 lead. Brooks sparked the run with a 3-pointer and capped it on an alley-oop dunk off a pass from Wheeler with 5:56 remaining. But the Huskies made just two of their final nine field-goal attempts the rest of the way.

Colorado used an 8-0 run to take a 64-63 lead on two free throws by Lampkin with 2:50 left.

Wheeler made a jumper to put the Huskies back up before Hadley scored on a layup with 2:23 remaining to give the Buffaloes the lead for good.

The Buffaloes took a 32-26 lead after a back-and-forth first half.

Both teams started fast, as the score was tied at 10-all after less than 3 1/2 minutes, before cooling significantly.

Trailing 15-12, the Buffaloes put together an 8-0 run to make it 20-15. The Huskies later used a 7-0 spurt to cut Colorado’s lead to 25-24.

Huskies center Franck Kepnang (knee) missed his second straight game.

–Field Level Media

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