Higgins Scores 33 Lifting CU to Victory
BOULDER, Colo. – Sophomore guard Cory Higgins scored 28 of his career-high 33 points in the second half, leading the University of Colorado Buffaloes to a 75-56 victory over Colorado State, Wednesday night in a non-conference battle at the Coors Events Center.
Colorado breaks a two-game losing streak, improving to 4-3 on the season, while the Rams suffer their fourth straight loss and their sixth of their last seven, falling to 3-6.
The Buffs placed four players in double-digits for the fifth time this season. Austin Dufault scored 12 points, Nate Tomlinson and Dwight Thorne II added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
CU shot 58.3 percent (28-of-48) from the field, including 66.7 percent (16-of-24) in the second half, while Colorado State hit 22-of-53 (41.5 percent) for the game.
The game was tied 28-28 at the break, then CSU opened up their biggest lead of the game led by forward Dan Vandervieren's 10-consecutive points pushing the visitors advantage to 40-32.
CU answered with its own run led by Higgins and Dufault's five points each, in addition to a jumper by Tomlinson, pushing CU ahead 43-42 with just under 13 minutes remaining.
From there, both teams traded baskets and remained tied at 48-all with 9:35 to go. The home team finally pushed ahead to stay, led by Higgins, who scored 19 of the team's final 32 points, cruising to the 19-point victory. CU outscored the Rams 27-to-10 the final 9:35 of the game.
"I was really proud of the effort," said CU head coach Jeff Bzdelik. "It was a wire-to-wire effort. We just kept battling and staying within our offense. We had 16 assists on 28 baskets, we had four guys in double-digits, we drew charges, and we battled on the boards. The most important thing is to keep getting better."
Both teams played without key players. CSU without 6'9" forward Andy Ogide (toe) and the Buffs' without 6'9" forward Casey Crawford (sprained foot). Ogide is averaging 13.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game for the Rams.
CSU was led by Dan Vandervieren's career-high 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field. Vandervieren's points were all scored in the second half.
Higgins' 33 points matches the most points scored at the Events Center since Michel Morandais netted 33 against Missouri on February 23, 2002.
"I just wanted to be aggressive within the offense, I didn't want to force anything, and the opportunities presented themselves in the second half and I was able to knock them down," Higgins said, who also connected on a career best 11 field goals made from the field.
"The offense opened up so many opportunities; if they pushed up, I'd go around and if they were going to lie under, I was going to shoot the three. Tonight it fell for me."
The Buffaloes also received solid play from Jermyl Jackson-Wilson, who handed out a team-best four assists and two blocks. Higgins also added a team-best six rebounds, the fifth time he has led the team on the boards in a game.
Colorado will be back in action on Friday, Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. when they host Prairie View A&M.