Coming off an impressive win this weekend, Colorado is quickly establishing itself as a Pac-12 powerhouse.
While the Buffaloes have proven unbeatable at home, coach Tad Boyle is eager to see how his team fares in its first league road game.
No. 15 Colorado goes for a fourth consecutive victory Wednesday night when it visits Washington State, which will be without leading scorer DaVonte Lacy.
The Buffaloes (13-2, 2-0) climbed five spots in the latest AP poll after Sunday's 100-91 win over then-No. 10 and previously unbeaten Oregon. Askia Booker led the way with a career-high 27 points and Spencer Dinwiddie scored 23 as Colorado rallied from 10 down.
"This team has toughness, they have resilience and they believe in each other," said Boyle, whose club shot 56.4 percent. "We beat a good team today. It wasn't given to us. We had to earn it."
The Buffaloes' only losses came 72-60 to then-No. 25 Baylor in Dallas on Nov. 8 and 78-73 to then-No. 7 Oklahoma State in Las Vegas on Dec. 21. Colorado, which knocked off then-No. 6 Kansas 75-72 on Dec. 7, has outscored unranked foes by an average of 14.6 points.
"There's still a lot of basketball to be played," Boyle said. "Nobody cares about games on January 5 come March other than looking at your resume, but we have to continue to get better and improve. We have to go prove that we can win on the road in this league, which we for the most part have not done since we've been here. There's always another bogey out there to shoot for."
The Buffaloes, who went 12-23 on the road during Boyle's first three seasons, are 2-0 away from home for the first time since opening 4-0 in 1994-95. While Colorado won 58-49 at Washington State last season, Booker is expecting a tough battle Wednesday.
"The freshmen haven't see a true road game in the Pac-12 ... we'll see how they handle it," Booker told the school's official website. "I think Spencer and myself, Josh Scott and Xavier (Johnson), we know what to expect and we're going to be prepared for it.
"They're going to say stuff to you that you probably won't like. They'll try to get under your skin. You might not get calls that you get at home. You're going to have to play through it and be physical, be aggressive."
The Cougars (7-7, 0-2) have dropped 10 of 11 against Top 25 opponents after an embarrassing 60-25 rout at No. 1 Arizona on Thursday. Washington State lost 66-47 at Arizona State three days later.
Que Johnson scored 18 points but Lacy, averaging a team-leading 17.7, managed four on 2-of-6 shooting before leaving with a rib injury. The junior, who had just returned from a two-game absence after undergoing an emergency appendectomy, is expected to miss at least a week.
'We have got to get better offensively," coach Ken Bone said. "It's hard when arguably your best player, definitely your best scorer, is not out there, so again to try to manufacture points in creative ways. It makes it a little bit difficult, to say the least, but you got to keep plugging at it.'
The Cougars are last in the conference in scoring with 65.7 points per game, 8.5 fewer than the next-closest team. They are also shooting a league-worst 42.3 percent.
The Associated Press News Service
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