CU Rolls to 72-47 Victory
BOULDER, Colo. – Sophomore Cory Higgins scored a game-high 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and junior Dwight Thorne II added 12 points leading the University of Colorado men's basketball team to a 72-47 victory over Prairie View A&M, Friday evening at the Coors Events Center.
The Buffaloes, idle for nine days, improved to 5-3 and have won two-straight, while the Panthers lost their fourth consecutive falling to 3-8.
CU helped the Big 12 remain perfect this season against the Southwestern Athletic Conference recording their 15th-straight win. The Buffs also improved to 5-0 all-time against the SWAC and defeated the Panthers for the first time in their lone meeting.
"I am very happy with how we came out of the gate," said CU head coach Jeff Bzdelik. "I thought we were pretty active for the most part. We didn't handle the press very well and we weren't very sharp. We turned the ball over too much; we just have to keep working hard and continuing to get better."
Higgins, named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week (Dec. 8-14) in voting by a panel of media covering the conference after his career-best 33-points against Colorado State back on Dec. 10, remained red-hot in the scoring column, netting 15 first half points on a trio of three-pointers.
Thorne also chipped-in with nine of his 12 points in the first half.
The Buffs pushed their first half lead to 31-14 on an 11-0 run over a 4:04 minute span led by Higgins' seven points.
CU capped a 43-18 half time lead in the closing seconds on freshman Trey Eckloff's three-pointer at the buzzer. After CU called timeout with 2.8 seconds remaining, the home team engineered quick passing with Thorne delivering an assist to Eckloff's trey for a 25-point advantage.
Coming into the game, CU brought the nation's 12th best shooting percentage from the field (.505) with a blistering 54.8 percent (17-of-31) in the opening half. CU also dominated in the paint, holding a 20-8 edge and another 20 points off 13 Prairie A&M turnovers.
CU remained in control in the second half as sophomore Levi Knutson scored all of his nine points and sophomore Javon Coney grabbed four rebounds. With six minutes remaining, a Knutson jumper pushed the Buffs' advantage to 64-37. A three-pointer by Knutson one minute later and a jumper by freshman Toby Veal gave CU a 32-point lead, their largest of the game.
CU also received balanced play from senior Jermyl Jackson-Wilson (eight points, seven rebounds). Thorne and freshman Austin Dufault added five assists apiece helping CU to a season-best 21 hand-outs.
The Panthers were led by Christopher Jones and Dorian McDaniel with nine and eight points, respectively. It's the first time since Dec. 27, 1999 where the Buffs did not allow a double-digit scorer holding Villanova to that feat at the Rainbow Classic.
CU wraps up the home non-conference for the 2008 calendar year hosting Louisiana-Monroe (3-7), Tuesday, Dec. 23 at 7 p.m.