Kansas Escapes Pesky Colorado, 66-61
Jan. 31, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Cole Aldrich led the Kansas men’s basketball team to a 66-61 victory over Colorado Saturday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse. Aldrich scored 15 points including 11 in the game’s first seven minutes.
Kansas (17-4) improved to 6-0 in Big 12 play for the first time since 2004-05. Colorado fell to 9-11 overall and 1-5 in league play. The victory marked KU’s sixth straight victory, its longest winning streak of the season.
In a game in which Kansas never trailed, Aldrich helped KU jump out to a 41-25 halftime lead. Aldrich nearly had a double-double in the first half with 13 points and nine rebounds. He finished the game with 15 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks to earn his 12th double-double of the season.
Despite the sizable halftime advantage, Kansas was unable to put away the Buffaloes until the game’s final minutes. Colorado slowly chipped away at the 16 point halftime deficit when a Jermyl Jackson-Wilson lay-up closed the gap down to two, 54-52, with just over six minutes to play.
Sophomore Tyrel Reed knocked down a three-pointer with 5:50 remaining to give KU a 57-52 lead and end a seven-minute drought without a field goal for the Jayhawks.
Junior Sherron Collins tossed in a three-pointer with 3:28 to play to give Kansas more breathing room at 62-52. However, Colorado continued to battle back when freshman Nate Tomlinson’s corner three-pointer narrowed the lead to three with one minute left. Collins nailed a difficult 7-foot runner to give KU a 64-59 lead with 22 seconds remaining.
Despite finishing with 11 points, Collins struggled shooting the ball for much of the game, shooting just 4-of-16 from the field and 1-of-10 from beyond the arc.
In the second half, Colorado shot 65.2 percent on 15-of-23 shooting. Kansas was held to 33.3 percent shooting, making 8-of-24 field goals.
Kansas out-rebounded Colorado 37-24 and the Jayhawk bench outscored the Colorado bench 20-2.
Sophomore Brady Morningstar scored in double-digits for the fifth time this year with 10 points. Markieff Morris also scored 10 points to establish a new career-high.
Leading all scorers was Colorado junior Dwight Thorne II with 18 points. Buffalo Sophomore Cory Higgins added 15 points and five assists. Jackson-Wilson notched 12 points.
Next up for Kansas is a trip to Waco, Texas to face the Baylor Bears in a Big Monday matchup on ESPN. The game is slated for 8 p.m. KU’s next home game will be next Saturday when it hosts Oklahoma State at 2:30 p.m.