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CU Escapes with Three-Point Victory

Dec 23, 2008

BOULDER – Freshman guard Nate Tomlinson made a pair of free throws with 6.6 seconds remaining and freshman forward Austin Dufault scored a career-high 21 points lifting the University of Colorado men's basketball team over the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks, 65-62 Tuesday night at the Coors Events Center.

The Buffaloes (6-3) have won three straight games and wrapped up a school record eight home games before Christmas. The Warhawks have lost six of their last seven games falling to 3-8.

ULM led most of the first half taking a 27-24 intermission lead, however both teams battled back-and-forth much of the second half. The game was tied 10 times, all in the second stanza, while the lead changed hands 14 times, nine of those in the last 20 minutes.

Trailing 60-59 with under a minute to play, the home team took the lead on a three-pointer by Casey Crawford with 38 seconds remaining.

ULM's Lawrence Gilbert (19 points) answered with a short jumper tying the game at 62-62 setting up Tomlinson's decisive free throws rallying CU to the victory. The Buffs trailed by as many as five points with 4:39 to play.

CU played much of the first half without Tomlinson, who picked up three fouls in the first six minutes of the game. The Buffs did receive balanced scoring in the opening half led by Dufault's eight points, Levi Knutson (five points), Dwight Thorne and Cory Higgins (four points each).

Higgins played all 40 minutes, scoring 11 of his 15 points in the second half with a team-high seven rebounds, four steals and two blocked shots. Thorne added 11 points for CU.

ULM's Malcolm Thomas recorded a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds helping the Warhawks out-rebound CU, 45-22. CU did commit only 10 turnovers to ULM's 21.

Dufault's best game of the season resulted in career-bests in field goals made (9) and attempts (14).

CU travels to the Rainbow Classic for three straight games beginning Sunday, Dec. 28 against Coppin State (1-8). The Buffaloes will play either Buffalo or Pepperdine next Monday Dec. 29, time to be determined.