KJ Simpson scores 34, Colorado fends off WSU Cougars 74-67

Dec 31, 2023, 1:37 PM | Updated: 5:12 pm

WSU Colorado KJ Simpson...

KJ Simpson of Colorado on Jan. 14, 2023. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — KJ Simpson scored a career-high 34 points, sinking 13 of 14 in a Colorado parade to the foul line and the Buffaloes held off the WSU Cougars 74-67 on Sunday.

Colorado 74, WSU 67: Box score

Simpson, who has scored at least 20 points in five straight games, made 10 of 18 shots from the floor with one 3-pointer for the Buffaloes (11-2, 2-0 Pac-12 Conference).

Andrej Jakimovski sank a 3-pointer and Myles Rice added two free throws to pull the Cougars (9-4, 0-2) within 65-64 with 3:24 remaining. Simpson answered with a layup and four free throws sandwiched around a 3-pointer from J’Vonne Hadley to keep the Cougars at bay. Hadley, who had one 3-pointer on the season, was 2 for 2 against Washington State and scored 12. Eddie Lampkin Jr. added 10 points and six rebounds for the Buffaloes.

Simpson had 14 points to guide Colorado to a 39-29 lead at halftime. Jakimovski hit all three of his 3-pointers and scored 13 to keep the Cougars within striking distance. The Buffaloes built most of their lead by going 7 for 7 at the foul line, while the Cougars did not attempt a free throw. Colorado was 15 of 19 at the foul line in the second half, while WSU finished 6 of 8.

Jakimovski scored 19 points on 7-for-14 shooting with four 3-pointers for Washington State. Isaac Jones had 16 points on 7-for-7 shooting with eight rebounds. Oscar Cluff pitched in with 16 points and six rebounds off the bench, scoring 14 in the second half.

Colorado leads the series 19-7, including 13-0 at home.

WSU returns home to host Oregon State on Thursday. Colorado travels to play No. 4 Arizona on Thursday.

Friday: Madsen scores 20, Utah beats WSU 80-58 in final Pac-12 opener


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KJ Simpson scores 34, Colorado fends off WSU Cougars 74-67