The Colorado men’s basketball team played without standout freshman Cody Williams last month while absorbing a 47-point defeat at Arizona.
The Buffaloes had Williams in the mix for the rematch on Saturday night, but it didn’t make much difference.
Williams endured one of the most frustrating games of his injury-marred season and the Buffs ultimately didn’t fare much better than they did in Tucson, dropping a 99-79 decision against the eighth-ranked Wildcats as CU suffered its first home defeat of the year.
Williams, still sporting a face mask to protect the injury that kept him out of last week’s loss at Utah, was battered by Arizona’s physical defense, finishing 3-for-7 with eight points. Williams matched a season-low with one rebound and went without an assist for the fourth time this season but the second time in the past three games.
Williams also matched a season-high with five turnovers, and over his past three games he has shot just .350 (7-for-20).
“The thing with Cody is, he just can’t press,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “I don’t want him to feel like he’s got pressure on him and the weight of the world on him. I want him to be aggressive, under control. He did that at times tonight, other times he struggled a little bit. I knew Arizona was get into him physically. He just has to understand that it’s coming. It comes with the territory.”
On Thursday, Arizona needed triple overtime to hand Utah its first home loss of the season. The Wildcats pretty much had the Buffs put down by the midpoint of the second half, and despite the quick turnaround and the fact that four UA starters played at least 44 minutes at Utah, the Wildcats never took their proverbial foot off the gas pedal against the Buffs.
“I knew our guys would respond,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said. “Those are guys who are competitive and they are winners. We knew everybody was trying to make excuses for us and we didn’t make any excuses. We knew full well we could come here and lose to a good Colorado team today and it had nothing to do with three overtimes on Thursday.”
CU guard KJ Simpson recorded a career-high nine assists, increasing his career total to 309 while becoming the 14th Buffs player to eclipse the 300-assist mark in his career. … Simpson and Tristan da Silva scored 20 points apiece while going a combined 15-for-29 against UA. The rest of the Buffs went 11-for-25 (.379) with 39 points. … It was Simpson’s 14th 20-point game of the season and his third in the past four games.