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Five keys to Colorado securing its first true road win at Washington

About one month removed from defeating Washington by four points in Boulder to begin Pac-12 play, the Colorado men’s basketball team heads to Seattle on Wednesday for another matchup against the Huskies.

In that late December matchup, the Buffs rode their home crowd’s energy to victory despite being shorthanded. Eddie Lampkin Jr. and KJ Simpson played fantastic while the Colorado defense forced the Huskies into a poor shooting night.

Since that game, Colorado has gone 4-3 to Washington’s 3-4. Both teams have experienced ups and downs, and the Buffs have still yet to win away from Boulder. With Cody Williams and Tristan da Silva returning for the Buffs since their last faceoff, Colorado looks to create some much-needed momentum on the road.

Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. MT on ESPNU.

Here are five keys to the Buffs picking up their first true road win of the season:

Fill the J'Vonne Hadley-sized hole on defense

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

J’Vonne Hadley has matched up with opposing teams’ leading scorers all season, including Washington’s Keion Brooks Jr. Since they faced each other over three weeks ago, Brooks has shot better from the field in six of the next seven games. With Hadley potentially out after missing Saturday’s game due to knee soreness, head coach Tad Boyle must figure out who he’ll assign to shut down UW’s star forward. He’ll at least have options, though, with Williams and da Silva back.

Dominate the paint

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

In their first matchup, Lampkin scored 17 points and reeled in 12 rebounds while Washington’s big men dealt with foul trouble trying to stop him. Colorado also scored 40 of its 73 points in the paint. With scoring at the rim seemingly being the recipe for success, the Buffs must work to feed Lampkin and create driving lanes for Simpson, da Silva and Williams.

Keep UW quiet from 3

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Almost 40% of Washington’s 69 points at Colorado last month were 3-pointers. While that partly has to do with the Buffs wanting to shut down the paint, allowing a team to get hot from deep, especially on the road, is the last thing Boyle will want for his squad, especially if you’ve listened to him talk postgame. Getting hands up on shots from the perimeter will be huge for the Buffs if they lock down the paint once more.

Stay composed on offense

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Over the last four games, Colorado’s half-court offense has looked phenomenal. In those games, the Buffs are averaging 15.3 assists to just 8.8 turnovers per game while shooting 49.1% from the field. While the Buffs proved they could beat the Huskies without such numbers (14 assists, 15 turnovers, 44% FG), continuing their stellar play will result in a big win for the Boulder boys.

Recreate the home crowd energy

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

When the Huskies threatened the Buffs late in their last matchup, it was CU’s home crowd that got on its feet and created some needed energy. While the aforementioned Williams and da Silva will help CU more than anything, the Buffs’ ability to create their own energy away from home will be crucial.

Further reading

READ: Cody Williams goes No. 1 overall in Yahoo Sports’ updated NBA mock draft

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Story originally appeared on Buffaloes Wire