Julian Hammond III scored a career-high 21 points and Luke O’Brien hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 59.8 seconds remaining to help Colorado beat Washington 74-68 Wednesday in the tournament opener Pac-12.
Colorado (17-15) snapped a three-game losing streak in the series with Washington. The Buffaloes will try to end a four-game skid against UCLA in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Hammond gave Colorado a 66-61 lead with 2:03 remaining before Washington guard Cole Bajema was fouled on a 3-pointer. Bajema made all three free throws and had a chance for a three-point play on Washington’s next possession, but he missed the free throw and the game remained tied at 66.
Tristan da Silva nearly lost it on Colorado’s next possession, but picked up the fumble in the lane and fed it to Ethan Wright, who found O’Brien for his first 3-pointer of the game.
Hammond added a basket for a five-point lead and da Silva made 3 of 4 free throws to seal it. Washington missed three of its last four field goals.
Da Silva added 18 points and O’Brien finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season for Colorado.
Colorado opened the game on an 11-4 run, as Washington made just two of its first 11 shots and led for the first 30 minutes. The Huskies began the second half with two 3-pointers in the first minute and took their first lead with 9:48 to play.
Bajema and Keion Brooks each scored 16 points for Washington (16-16), which swept the regular-season series with Colorado. Koren Johnson added 15 points.