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Kansas State Tops Buffs, 76-64

Mar 7, 2009

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Sophomore guard Cory Higgins scored 22 points, however a strong second half performance by Kansas State led to a 76-64 Wildcat victory over the University of Colorado men's basketball team in the regular season finale for both teams, Saturday afternoon.


"With such a young team, here is the bottom line," said CU head coach Jeff Bzdelik. "We do not have enough depth, experience, and physicality. It's plain and simple. We have been in every game except for one or two in the Big 12. The depth is correctable through recruiting. The physicality is correctable by lifting weights while appreciating and understanding the importance of those kinds of things."


Kansas State took control early, using a 9-2 run to take a 16-10 lead midway through the first half. Then a basket by Casey Crawford sparked a 7-2 run that gave the Buffaloes a 25-24 advantage with 7:35 remaining.


Colorado (9-21, 1-15 Big 12) led at halftime after Higgins made two free throws and a layup to give CU a 41-38 advantage. The Buffs made a season-best 73.7 percent (14-of-19) from the field in the first half as CU scored the most first half points against a Big 12 opponent this season.


After struggling in the opening period, the Wildcats caught fire early in the second half. Five straight points by Denis Clemente ignited an 11-2 run that gave Kansas State (21-10, 9-7) the lead for good. With 13:06 remaining, the Buffs pulled back within five at 54-49 on a Crawford jumper. However, the Wildcats widened their lead again as Jamar Samuels' dunk started a 10-2 lead, capped by a Jacob Pullen three-pointer.

Nate Tomlinson and Dwight Thorne II added 10 points apiece for the Buffs. Tomlinson made a pair of three-pointers, CU's only from beyond the arc. Toby Veal, who did not play in the first meeting against K-State this season, recorded eight points, four rebounds and CU's only two blocked shots.

Thorne and Austin Dufault each recorded six of Colorado's 32 total rebounds.


The Wildcats made 38.7 percent (24-of-62) from the field and were led by Clemente with 24 points.


Kansas State has won the last four games against CU at Bramlage Coliseum and holds an 8-5 edge in Manhattan in Big 12 play.


The Buffs committed 24 turnovers, compared to Kansas State's 14.


Colorado will travel to Oklahoma City for the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championships and take on No. 5 seed Texas (20-10, 9-7) Wednesday Mar. 11 at 2 p.m. (MDT).