Buffs Edged in Final Seconds, 55-53
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) – Junior guard Dwight Thorne II scored a game-high 21 points and Cory Higgins added 15, however the Nebraska Cornhuskers got 12 points each from Steve Harley and Ryan Anderson and survived a furious rally in the final minute to hold of Colorado, 55-53 Wednesday night.
Levi Knutson's half-court prayer was off the mark as time expired on the Buffaloes.
The Cornhuskers (14-7, 4-4 Big 12) won the game at the free throw line making 9-of-14 from the charity stripe in the final 1:39 of the game. Nebraska won consecutive conference road games for the first time since February 2007, when they won at Missouri and Texas Tech.
"We have to be better finishing around the rim and stop avoiding contact," said CU head coach Jeff Bzdelik. "We have to take it to their chin. We need to rebound better. When everyone is supposed to deny on the inbound, everyone needs to deny. We cannot have just one guy take a charge, we need three or four guys taking a charge, and that is toughness. All these things add up."
CU dropped another close game in conference play. Four of their seven conference losses are by an average of 4.3 points.
Thorne's fifth 3-pointer, from the right corner, tied a career-high for 3-pointers pulling the Buffs to 54-53 with 15 seconds left.
Cookie Miller was fouled on the inbounds and sank one of two free throws for the 'Huskers. Higgins (six rebounds, four assists, two steals) brought the ball up for Colorado but missed the go-ahead bucket and Austin Dufault's tip was off the mark.
This time, Cornhuskers guard Sek Henry was fouled with 2.6 seconds left and he missed both free throws, the second one intentionally. Knutson grabbed the ball and heaved it up from half-court.
Colorado (9-12, 1-6) led just once, at 30-28, but the Cornhuskers responded with a 9-2 run highlighted by Paul Velander's 3-pointer to take control.
Knutson grabbed a career-high six rebounds for CU.
CU travels to No. 2/2 Oklahoma (22-1, 8-0 Big 12) this Saturday, Feb. 7 for an 11:30 a.m. (MST) tip. The game will be televised by Altitude Sports & Entertainment.