No. 20 Colorado State holds off Washington 86-81 to remain unbeaten

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Joel Scott led five players in double figures with 17 points and No. 20 Colorado State defeated Washington 86-81 on Saturday.

Scott buried a 3-pointer with 1:10 remaining in the game to break a 78-78 tie, as the Rams (8-0) held off the Huskies (4-3) to remain unbeaten.

The Rams overcame a seven-point deficit midway through the second half, one of several it faced in the game.

“They’re fighters, and they find a way,” Colorado State coach Niko Medved said. “We’ve been doing that all year. This is our fourth straight, high-major game that we’ve played and we’ve been able to find a way to win all of them. So it’s nothing that we haven’t seen before.”

Josiah Strong and Patrick Cartier each scored 16 for the Rams. Isaiah Stevens finished with 12 points and Joe Palmer chipped in 10.

The Rams, who lead the Mountain West and rank third nationally with their assist-to-turnover ratio (2.09), finished with an impressive 17 assists versus only eight turnovers.

Washington’s Moses Wood led all scorers with 21 points and also had eight rebounds. Keion Brooks Jr. had 20 points with seven rebounds, Paul Mulcahy finished with 14 and Sahvir Wheeler contributed with 13.

“Tough fought game,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said. “We were able to go back and forth like a heavyweight fight. We’ve been on a few of these late in the game. To get to the next step, we’re close ... we’ve got to rebound better and we’ve got to defend better at the end.”

Washington opened the game by taking an early 7-1 lead while Colorado State missed its first four shots. The Rams, however, used a 14-0 run to take a 21-12 lead midway through the first half. Sparked by Wood and Mulcahy, however, the Huskies quickly turned the tables by ending a near five-minute drought and using a 15-5 run to retake the lead, 27-26.

The teams traded baskets from there, but it was Washington being able to take advantage of Stevens’ absence, after committing his third foul with a little more than five minutes left in the first half. The Huskies built a seven-point lead before heading into the locker room with a 44-41 lead at halftime.

“No one wants to pick up three fouls in the first half,” said Stevens, the preseason Mountain West Player of the Year. “I was just trying to stay as positive as possible, trying to stay as engaged as possible. My teammates did a great job of picking me up, telling me to stay in it, stay ready.

“Just gotta go out there and make the next right play and I felt like I was able to do that for myself at times, and also make plays for my teammates.”

BIG PICTURE

Washington: The Huskies came into the game ranked 110th in the nation with 73% free-throw shooting. They shot just 64.3% from the line Saturday, their second-lowest percentage of the season.

Colorado State: Medved, in his sixth year as coach of Colorado State, earned his 100th win as the Rams’ coach. He became the fifth coach in program history to reach the 100-win mark.

UP NEXT

Washington: Opens a four-game homestand against Montana State on Tuesday.

Colorado State: Opens a three-game homestand against Denver on Wednesday.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball