No. 20 Colorado State brings a bit of baggage to Las Vegas this weekend.
The Rams bring their unbeaten record — and multiple health concerns — to Las Vegas for a matchup with Washington (4-2).
The Rams (7-0) are without guard Jalen Lake (broken finger) and forward Patrick Cartier could miss the game due to a back injury.
Lake played with the broken finger in his left hand and finished with 16 points off the bench in Wednesday’s 88-83 win over Colorado at Fort Collins, Colo.
Lake made 4-of-7 shots from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range.
After surgery, Lake is out for up to six weeks.
A team doctor gave him the green light to play, he decided to suit up against Colorado ahead of the surgery.
“That’s who he is; he’s tough as nails,” Colorado State guard Isaiah Stevens said. “I’ve known him since high school, and he’s always just been a competitor. He’s a little reserved, which can be hard to read sometimes for people, but once you get to know him, he’ll play through anything for his teammates, and that’s special.”
Stevens finished with 20 points and 11 assists.
He engineered an offense that committed only seven turnovers in the competitive game between the in-state rivals.
Nique Clifford and Joel Scott each scored 15 points and Joe Palmer contributed 11.
Cartier did not play in that game because of the back injury he suffered in a 69-48 victory over Creighton on Thanksgiving.
Colorado State (50.9 percent from the field, 40.9 percent from 3-point range) and Colorado (54.5 percent from the field) shot well overall.
The Rams’ perimeter defense limited the Buffaloes to 28.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc and forced 15 turnovers that resulted in 17 points.
“It goes to show how versatile we are as a team with people playing different positions (because of injuries),” Clifford said. “That’s something we worked on at practice this week knowing we weren’t going to have Pat, and Lake is a little banged up, too. I’m just proud of the guys for stepping into new roles and embracing that.”
Washington is in search of its first win over a Mountain West Conference team.
The Huskies lost to Nevada 83-76 at home on Nov. 12.
Washington returned to Las Vegas two weeks after losing 100-97 in overtime against San Diego State in the championship of the Continental Tire Main Event.
In the lone game following that loss, the Huskies posted an 83-56 win over UC San Diego on Tuesday.
Keion Brooks Jr. had 18 points and 12 rebounds in the victory.
The Huskies outrebounded San Diego 54-34 and dominated inside, outscoring the Toreros 38-18 in the paint.
“I thought our guys adapted really well,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said about his team’s performance after more than a week without a game. “Our defense and rebounding were good. We really pushed the pace and picked up the offense in the second half.”
Kentucky graduate transfer Sahvir Wheeler scored 17 points, reserve Braxton Meah 14 and Koren Johnson 12.
Wheeler also added eight assists and six rebounds.
–Field Level Media