CU Rally Falls Short in OT, 77-75
BOULDER – Junior guard Dwight Thorne II scored 20 of his career-high 30 points in the second half rallying Colorado from an 11-point deficit with 10 minutes remaining, however fell short in overtime as Kansas State escaped with a 77-75 victory, Saturday afternoon.
CU fell to 8-10 overall and dropped their fourth consecutive loss to open the Big 12 season matching the 2004-05 campaign. Kansas State improves to 12-7 overall and tallies their first win their in the Big 12 (1-4).
Jacob Pullen scored five of his team-high 17 points for Kansas State in overtime leading three other K-State players in double figures. Denis Clemente scored all of his 15 points after halftime.
Thorne hit one of his five 3-pointers with 10 seconds left in regulation to send it into overtime tied at 67-all. He then hit a three-pointer with 6.3 seconds left in overtime to pull Colorado within 75-74, but Darren Kent's two free throws with 5.2 seconds left sealed the win.
"Every possession has to matter," said CU head coach Jeff Bzdelik. "To start the game we were down 20-10 and already had seven turnovers. Why did we lose? If we have two or three less turnovers and two or three defensive rebounds, a little better execution on the timeout plays would have been better too.
"We have progressively gotten better, but we're not into that, we're into winning. The winning and losing will take care of itself if we get better in those areas. We need to be down to 12 or less turnovers and we can't allow teams to get 13 offensive rebounds."
Colorado hit 23-of-42 (54.8 percent) from the field for the game, however in the second half, the Buffs shot an impressive 82.4 percent (14-of-17). It's the second-best shooting performance by a CU team in the second half since 1982.
Sophomore Cory Higgins scored 12 points, five rebounds and four steals. Senior Jermyl Jackson-Wilson hit 14 points and grabbed a team-high six rebounds. The six rebounds moves Jackson-Wilson into 39th place on the school's all-time rebounding list (383).
After the teams were tied at 26 at halftime, K-State stormed out increasing its advantage to double-digits with under 10 minutes to play. A free throw shot by Luis Colon and a three-point play by Denis Clemente with 9:55 remaining gave the Wildcats their biggest lead of the game at 50-39.
CU rallied down the stretch, cutting its deficit to six points on a Nate Tomlinson layup with 2:43 to play. Austin Dufault (nine points, four rebounds) scored CU's next four points on jump shots and a Jackson-Wilson three-point play pushed the home team to a 65-64 deficit with 33 seconds remaining in regulation.
Colorado will host Iowa State (12-7, 1-3) on Tuesday, Jan. 27 at 8:30 p.m. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Net Rocky Mountain.