Buffs knock off the rust with 83-78 win over Washington State

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A nearly three-week hiatus didn’t seem to bother the Buffs much when they returned to action Thursday night against Washington State. Shooting a season-high 51.8% from the field, the Buffs secured an important 83-78 Pac-12 win.

Jabari Walker, as he’s prone to do, went off for 16 points in the second half after tweaking his ankle early in the game. Without Walker’s ability to close out games late, who knows where the now 10-3 Buffs would be.

“It’s something about the second half of the game (where I’m) just calmed down, or just the nerves,” Walker said. “I don’t know, but I just feel more comfortable in the second half, really.”

Another hero from the night was Julian Hammond III. Getting more minutes in place of an injured K.J. Simpson, CU’s other freshmen point guard dished out four assists and didn’t turn the ball over once in his 14 minutes.

Colorado’s scoring leader on the night was Evan Battey, who was 7-of-8 from the field with 20 points.

After the game, Tad Boyle said his Buffs didn’t have their “prettiest” performance, but he was impressed with their 17 assists and strong shooting.

“This team continues to find ways to win games late in tough situations,” Boyle said. “I’m really proud of the way they played as a group.”

Washington comes next on Sunday.