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KJ Simpson pours in 34 points, Colorado tops Washington State

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KJ Simpson scored a career-high 34 points as short-handed Colorado held off a late rally to defeat Washington State 74-67 in a Pacific-12 Conference game Sunday afternoon in Boulder, Colo.

J’Vonne Hadley added 12 points and Eddie Lampkin Jr. had 10 points and six rebounds for the Buffaloes (11-2, 2-0 Pac-12), who won their sixth game in a row and improved to 9-0 at home this season.

Andrej Jakimovski led WSU (9-4, 0-2) with 19 points and Isaac Jones and Oscar Cluff scored 16 apiece. Jones was 7-of-7 from the field and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.

The Buffaloes played their second straight game without Tristan da Silva (ankle), who averages 15.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Fellow forward Cody Williams (14.0 ppg) missed his fifth straight game with a wrist injury and Bangot Dak (illness) and guard RJ Smith (leg) were also out.

After trailing by 12 points early in the second half, the Cougars cut the deficit to two on five occasions but each time Colorado responded, four times by Simpson.

Myles Rice got the Cougars within 65-64 on two free throws with 3:24 remaining.

But WSU’s next four possessions ended with three turnovers and a blocked shot as the Buffaloes pulled away.

Colorado took a 10-point halftime lead as Simpson scored 14 points.

After Washington State scored the game’s first basket, the Buffaloes went on a 9-0 run and never trailed again.

Colorado led by as many as 11 points in the half, before the Cougars rallied to pull within 29-25 on Jakimovski’s 3-pointer following a turnover.

Simpson was fouled by Rice while attempting a 3-pointer and made all three free throws to spark a late run that restored the Buffaloes’ lead to double digits. Harrison Carrington was fouled while making a layup with 1.7 seconds left and converted the free throw to make it 39-29 at the intermission.

–Field Level Media

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