Booker's Three Sinks No. 6 Jayhawks in Boulder

BOULDER, Colo. – Colorado’s Askia Booker took two large steps and threw up a desperation toss from inside of half court just before the buzzer sounded to complete an upset of No. 6 Kansas, 75-72, in the Coors Event Center Saturday afternoon.

The game-ending lob snapped a 19-game losing streak by Colorado to Kansas, and helped Booker tie for the team lead with 15 points. Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins poured in a career-high tying 22 points and was joined in double figures by Frank Mason (11), Joel Embiid (10) and Perry Ellis (10).

Colorado (9-1) didn’t relinquish the lead for the game’s final 23:48, including the entire second half, but Kansas (6-2) rallied in the waning minutes and it appeared as though regulation might not be enough to decide a winner.

The Jayhawks had two chances to tie the game in the final 15 seconds, the first with Wiggins fouled on a three-point attempt at the top of the key with KU trailing 71-68.  Wiggins bounced the first attempt off the back iron, up in the air and watched as it dropped to make it a two-point game. Wiggins then missed the second free throw and swished the third to make it a one-point game with 12 seconds to play.  

Kansas tried to deny an inbounds pass and fouled Colorado’s Spencer Dinwiddie, who had made 7-of-8 free throw attempts during the contest. Dinwidde clanked the first and made the second to give the Buffs a 72-70 advantage.

After a quick timeout by the Jayhawks, Kansas fed Ellis who drove the left side of the lane and dropped in a contested leaner with four seconds to go. The shot rattled around before falling and appeared to give the Jayhawks a needed boost and send the game to extra-time.

That’s when Booker toppled the streak, and the Jayhawks. Xavier Johnson threw his first inbounds pass off Landen Lucas, then after a reset, poked his second attempt around the jumping defender into the hands of Booker. The junior from Los Angeles dribbled a couple times before a stutter step and two strides freed him for the final bucket.

Kansas opened the game on a 7-0 run and led by as many as nine points in the first half before Colorado clawed their way back into it when the Jayhawks cooled. The Buffs took their first lead with 4:21 left in the first half, 26-25, but a Wiggins dunk on a fast break put Kansas back in front and ended a nearly four minute drought for the Jayhawks.

After trading blows Colorado moved ahead with 3:48 to play in the half and would never give up the lead again. The game was tied 30-30 in the final seconds of the first half when Booker landed the first of his late clock heroics with a three-pointer as the final three seconds of the first half ticked off the clock. 

Kansas got most of its offense in the first half from Embiid, who hit 4-of-6 from the field for 10 points to lead all players, but couldn’t find the same success inside in the second half. Embiid finished with those 10 points after fouling out with 1:44 to play.

Colorado had its own lead of nine points near the midpoint of the second half, but Kansas erased it with a 9-0 run, during which Ellis chipped in four points.

Kansas shot 53 percent (27-of-51) from the field, besting Colorado’s 41 percent (23-of-56). Kansas also out-rebounded the Buffs, 33-32, but Colorado did a better job cleaning the offensive glass with a 15-8 advantage in offensive rebounds. Ellis led all players with eight rebounds.

The Jayhawks continue a grueling road swing with a trip to Gainesville, Fla., for a top-20 match-up against the Florida Gators Tuesday in the Big 12-SEC Challenge.

Postgame Notes
KU STARTERS (Season/Career Starts):
Fr. Frank Mason (2/2), Fr. Wayne Selden, Jr. (8/8), Fr. Andrew Wiggins (8/8), So. Perry Ellis (8/11), Sr. Tarik Black (8/68)

SERIES INFO: Kansas leads 123-40

ATTENDANCE: 11,064 (Capacity: 11,064)

• Made KU 6-2 on the season
• Made Kansas 0-1 in true road games this season and 3-2 away from Allen Fieldhouse
• The loss snapped KU’s 19-game winning streak against the Buffs, including an eight-game winning streak in Boulder
• Dropped Kansas to 40-26 in Boulder and 25-9 at the Coors Event Center
• Made Bill Self 306-61 while at Kansas and 513-166 overall
• Made KU 2,107-814 all-time

• Four Jayhawks scored in double figures against the Buffs. Freshman Andrew Wiggins led with 22 points, which tied his career-high.
• As a team, KU finished with a season-low 33 rebounds but out-rebounded the Buffs, 33-32.
• Kansas opened the first half with a 7-0 run and held Colorado scoreless until the 17:34 mark. Colorado’s first score of the game was a dunk from Xavier Johnson. He was also fouled and completed the three-point play.
• The Jayhawks went on a mini 6-0 run that was sparked by a steal from freshman center Joel Embiid. The scoring run gave KU its largest lead of the half, 18-9.
• KU’s defense held the Buffs without a field goal for almost three minutes from 12:06 to 9:39, halfway through the first half. The Jayhawk offense capitalized by extending their lead to nine, 21-12, for the second time.
• Kansas’ scoring drought from 7:31-3:48 late in the first half was ended by a dunk from freshman guard Andrew Wiggins. The dunk also recaptured the lead for KU after the Buffs took their first lead of the game at 4:21 mark with a layup from senior Ben Mills.
• The Jayhawks headed to the locker room trailing Colorado, 33-30. It was the third time this season that Kansas has trailed at the break.
• A 9-0 run by KU from 11:04-8:18 tied the game 53-53 halfway through the second period. Sophomore Perry Ellis scored four of nine points on the run and a layup from Andrew Wiggins tied the game.
• Wiggins was fouled with 12 seconds remaining and converted 2-of-3 shots as the Jayhawks trailed by one.
• A layup from Ellis tied the game 72-72 with four second remaining. Colorado went on to make a three-pointer at the buzzer for the win.
• Kansas trailed for the final 23:48 of the game and its largest lead of game was nine points, which was reached twice in the first half.

• Freshman guard Andrew Wiggins led the offense after tying his career-high mark of 22 points against Colorado – 17 of which came in the second half. He finished 7-of-11 from the field and 7-of-9 from the free throw line. Wiggins completed a three-point play in the second half with 18:45 left on the clock. 
• Freshman center Joel Embiid completed a three-point play at the 13:53 mark in the first half. He scored 10 points and grabbed four rebounds before fouling out with 1:44 to play.
• Sophomore forward Perry Ellis dished out a career-high three assists against Colorado. His previous best was two assists last recorded against UTEP on Nov. 30. Ellis finished the afternoon with a team-high eight rebounds, which was two shy of his career-high mark. He also was one of four to score in double figures with 10 points.
• In his second career start, freshman Frank Mason recorded 11 points, 10 of which came in the second half.