“We’ve got to find who we were in the first 27 games or we’ll be one and done,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said.
Colorado won the team’s lone meeting 78-56 by pulling away in the second half.
The Buffaloes came out cold along The Strip, missing 12 of their first 16 shots as Washington State built a 27-13 lead midway through the first half.
Elleby led Washington State’s early charge.
The all-conference sophomore forward had a forgettable final weekend of the regular season, shooting a combined 6 for 33 — 1 for 14 from 3-point range — in losses to the Arizona schools.
Elleby was confident and on the mark against Colorado, scoring 13 points in the first 10 1/2 minutes. He had 15 points to give Washington State a 35-25 halftime lead. Colorado missed all eight of its 3-point attempts in the first half.
Elleby hit two quick 3-pointers and Isaac Bonton hit another to stretch the Cougars’ lead to 44-26 early in the second half. Colorado scored nine straight points midway through the second half, but that only cut the lead to 57-45.
“I feel like we’re going to figure it out,” Bey said. “We’ve got one more chance to make it in a tournament and we’ve got to come together as a team and just figure it out.”
The Cougars opened the Pac-12 tournament with a strong performance at both ends to earn another shot at Arizona State, which beat them 83-74 in the regular-season finale.
Once in the mix for the Pac-12 regular-season title, Colorado has a few kinks to work out or it could be a short trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Washington State plays No. 3 seed Arizona State in Thursday’s quarterfinals.
Colorado awaits word on its NCAA Tournament hopes.
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