Colorado Buffaloes coach Tad Boyle seemed to have a sound game plan heading to unranked Washington on Sunday, with leading scorer Spencer Dinwiddie set to put the clamps on the Huskies' C.J. Wilcox.
That all came crashing to the floor three minutes before halftime, when Dinwiddie went down with a left knee injury that could keep him out for an extended period of time.
With Dinwiddie sidelined, Wilcox erupted for 21 second-half points on his way to a career-high 31, leading Washington to a 71-54 win over the 15th-ranked Buffaloes.
"I think it was definitely an emotional blow to our team in the second half," Boyle said of Dinwiddie's injury. "They beat us. They beat us like a drum."
The Buffaloes (14-3, 3-1 Pac-12) were leading 25-22 when Dinwiddie went down with 2:52 remaining in the first half. The junior guard, who was leading the team in scoring at 15.2 points per game coming into Sunday, had seven points at the time of the injury.
Dinwiddie's left knee appeared to buckle even on a non-contact play, and he had to be helped into the locker room by two teammates.
Boyle said after the game that he didn't know the extent of the injury but added that it didn't look good.
"I don't feel good, but right now I don't know," Boyle said about 15 minutes after the game. "My gut's (that the injury is) not good. But we'll see. If he's out, he's out."
After the injury, Washington outscored Colorado 49-29 over the final 22:52.
"It definitely changed when he went out," Wilcox said.
Dinwiddie didn't even come out of the locker room until the final six minutes of the second half, when he sat at the end of the bench and watched Wilcox lead Washington on an 18-5 spurt that put the Huskies in control. After sitting at the end of the Colorado bench for a few minutes, Dinwiddie limping out of a nearby tunnel and did not return.
Wilcox, whom Dinwiddie helped hold to 10 first-half points, erupted for 16 points and four 3-pointers over the first eight minutes of the second half, helping the Huskies (11-6, 3-1) turn a three-point halftime deficit into a 53-39 lead.
Colorado used its superior inside size to jump out to a 29-26 halftime lead, but that was insignificant as what happened in the closing minutes of the first half.
Washington cut the lead to one on a Perris Blackwell follow, then the injury bug hit Colorado again when freshman reserve forward Tre'Shaun Fletcher, a native of nearby Tacoma, went down holding his knee with 1:30 remaining in the half -- just 82 seconds after Dinwiddie. Fletcher went to the Colorado bench and eventually returned to action in the second half.
Wilcox made a career-high seven 3-pointers, five of which came in the second half. He established a new career high of 31 points -- his previous mark was 30 -- with a steal and breakaway dunk with 56 seconds remaining.
"When he gets in a zone," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said of Wilcox, "he's pretty special."
Wilcox made 7 of 12 shots from 3-point range and was 5-for-6 in the second half.
"I was just able to get a rhythm, and teammates started getting the ball to me," said Wilcox, who came into the game as the Pac-12's third-leading scorer. "And I was able to knock down shots."
Huskies guard Andrew Andrews also got hot after halftime while scoring 12 of his 14 points. Freshman Nigel Williams-Goss added 12 points for Washington.
The Huskies shot 66.7 percent after halftime, making 16 of 24 shots from the field.
"It comes down to we didn't play good defense in the second half," said Colorado forward Josh Scott, who scored a team-high 15 points. "Spencer doesn't need to be there for us to do that. That's on us."
Forward Wesley Gordon added 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Buffaloes.
NOTES: G Askia Booker, the Buffaloes' second-leading scorer at 13.9 points per game coming in, was held scoreless on 0-of-9 shooting. ... The Buffaloes lost for only the second time in 16 games, leaving only No. 1 Arizona as Cal among the unbeaten teams in Pac-12 play. ... Colorado is now 6-1 all-time at Washington, where the Buffaloes last won in Dec. 1956.