Higgins Nets 20; KU Wins Battle, 73-56
BOULDER – Sophomore Cory Higgins scored 20 points, 12 of them from the free throw line, however the University of Kansas Jayhawks made 69.6 percent of their shots in the second half pulling away for a 73-56 victory over the University of Colorado men's basketball team, Saturday afternoon.
Colorado falls to 8-8 overall and 0-2 in the Big 12, while Kansas improved to 13-4, 2-0.
"Obviously, in order to have chance for success in basketball, the first two criteria are to value the possession of the basketball, and yield nothing easy for the opponents," said CU head coach Jeff Bzdelik. "Those are the two areas that our young basketball team has not quite done yet.
"Kansas scored 37 of their 73 points off of bad turnovers and second chance points. Those are areas that constantly kill us. Hopefully all this experience they are gaining now will pay off in the future. I am not discouraged, and I am excited about the future of this program."
With 7:36 remaining in the first half, CU took a 19-17 lead on a Dwight Thorne II three-point play and increased it to 22-17 with 6:24 left for their biggest lead of the game. However, the visitors took control of the game thereafter going on a 17-5 run over the remaining first half for a 34-27 advantage.
In the opening three minutes of the second half, both teams were unable to find the bottom of the net, however CU cut its deficit to 34-32 on a Higgins 3-pointer.
KU answered pushing its advantage to 45-36, then took control of the game for good as Tyrel Reed drained a pair of 3-pointers, part of a 7-0 run getting the Jayhawks to their biggest lead, 50-36 with 9:58 left. Reed's third 3-pointer of the half and baskets by Aldrich and Markieff Morris extended the margin for Kansas to 62-43 with 6:13 left.
Freshman Trey Eckloff grabbed a season best team-high six rebounds for CU, while freshman Ryan Kelley, who scored 19 points earlier in the week at Missouri, added seven points. Senior Jermyl Jackson-Wilson tallied six points and two steals.
Higgins remained red-hot from the charity stripe (12-of-12 today) improving his last 10-game total to 63-of-64. He made his last six free throws at Missouri, after missing his first attempt to rattle off 18-of-18 over his last two games.
Colorado hit 16-of-43 (37.2 percent) from the field for the game, while Kansas shot an impressive 61.4 percent (27-of-44).
The Jayhawks placed five players in double-figures led by Collins, who scored 15 of his 18 points in the first half. Aldrich added a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, followed by Tyshawn Taylor with 14 points.
Colorado will take to the road to face Texas Tech (10-7, 0-2 Big 12) on Tuesday, Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Net Rocky Mountain.