MBB Drops Big 12 Opener to Missouri
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COLUMBIA, Mo. – Freshman Ryan Kelley scored a season-best 19 points and junior Dwight Thorne II added 13, but the Buffs were unable to overcome Missouri's early 19-0 run as Missouri ran to a 107-62 victory, Wednesday night.
With the loss Colorado falls to 8-7 overall and 0-1 in the Big 12, while Missouri improves to 14-3 (1-1 Big 12).
Colorado shot their lowest first half field goal percentage of the season, hitting only 7-of-29 (24.1 percent). The Tigers shot a season-best 63.3 percent (38-of-60) from the field and dominated from behind the three-point line, hitting 12-of-20 (60 percent).
Colorado turned the ball over a season-high 26 times.
"That's all we practiced and emphasized was to in-bound the ball, advance the ball and get a good shot and yet we turned the ball over 26 times to yield 30 points," CU head coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "The combination of missing layups, turning the ball over and breakdowns defensively, it snowballed quickly."
Freshmen Austin Dufault and Trey Eckloff each grabbed five rebounds, helping CU outrebound Missouri, 35-29.
CU's Cory Higgins scored 12 points and recorded five steals, tying his career-high. With a missed free throw with 3:30 remaining in the first half, Higgins' streak of 45 consecutive free throws ends. He's the holder of the school and Big 12 Conference mark for consecutive free throws made.
Although Colorado remained close in the opening minutes, the Tigers jumped out to a big lead and CU was unable to close the gap. Thorne hit a three-pointer to score CU's first points on his way to scoring nine of CU's first 13 points. A layup by Higgins with 15:29 remaining in the first half brought the Buffs within two points at 9-7..Thorne hit two free throws only 23 seconds later, keeping the Buffs within two at 11-9.
With 8:41 to play in the first half, four free throws by Mizzou's DeMarre Carroll and Kim English increased their lead to 25-17 and started what would become a 19-0 run for the Tigers. An English steal led to J.T. Miller's dunk a little over one minute later, adding to the Tiger's growing lead. Miller hit four free throws during their run, which was capped by a Paul Miguel three-pointer.
Missouri started the second half with a 48-22 lead and went on an 11-0 run until CU's Kelley interrupted it with a three-pointer. With 7:31 remaining and the Buffs trailing 89-47, Kelley scored a three-point play followed by a layup to give CU five quick points.
Missouri saw balanced scoring, as six players landed in double-figures, led by Laurence Bowers with 16, Justin Safford, Marcus Denmon, Tiller, and Carroll scored 13 apiece, and Kim English recorded 11.
Colorado returns home to host Kansas on Saturday, Jan. 17 at 1:30 p.m. The game will be televised on ABC.