Buffs Fall in Overtime
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - With 2.4 seconds remaining, the score tied and two technical free throws coming, San Francisco coach Rex Walters had only one question for sophomore guard Michael Williams: Can you shoot these?
He could, and he did.
Williams, who had dragged himself off the court minutes earlier due to severe cramping in both legs, sank both foul shots to deliver USF an 83-81 overtime victory against Colorado on Saturday night.
"I wasn't sure if coach had somebody else in mind, like Cody (Doolin), but I shot it well from the line earlier in the game," said Williams, who missed 2 1/2 minutes while receiving treatment for cramps. "I just wanted to get back (on the court) because I wanted to help my team win."
Angelo Caloiaro scored a career-high 26 points with eight rebounds and Rashad Green added 16 points for USF (2-1), which led for most of the extra period but almost let the game slip away in the final seconds.
Alec Burks had 29 points and Cory Higgins added 28 points and eight rebounds for the Buffaloes (1-2). Higgins gave Colorado an 81-79 lead with 10 seconds left - the Buffaloes' first lead in OT - when he scored on a knifing fast-break drive and added the ensuing free throw.
Doolin drove the length of the court and missed a wild runner, but Green grabbed the rebound and converted the putback with 2.4 seconds remaining.
Colorado was judged by the officiating crew to have called timeout after Green's basket, but the Buffaloes had none remaining, so Williams was sent to the line, where he swished both.
"It's a tough deal for them, but we took advantage of it," Walters said. "(Williams) is one of the best shooters I've ever coached. It's effortless. He's got unbelievable hand-eye coordination, and then the ball's in the bottom of the net."
First-year Colorado coach Tad Boyle protested the technical call vehemently, to no avail. Boyle said he was told by the officiating crew that Higgins signaled for the timeout, but the player denied culpability.
"Cory swears he didn't do it," Boyle said. "(The officials) said we'll see it on film. The problem is, if he didn't do it, what do we do then? It's a shame the game has to end like that."
Burks missed a running 30-footer over Green as the final buzzer sounded.
USF shot 63.2 percent on 3-pointers, with Caloiaro converting six of seven, to overcome their 17 turnovers and the 22 points Colorado generated from them.
Caloiaro scored the Dons' first eight points of the second half, sandwiching a slicing layup with two 3-pointers and pushing USF to a 36-33 lead less than three minutes into the period.
Burks and Higgins, the third-highest-scoring guard tandem in Division I last season, carried the Buffaloes' offense, but Colorado neither could pull away nor fully impose Boyle's preferred up-tempo style.
Higgins' free throws with 3:32 left in regulation gave Colorado its first lead in more than six minutes at 63-61. The teams traded the lead four more times down the stretch. Higgins hit another pair of foul shots at the 43.9-second mark to put Colorado up 70-68, but Williams responded with two free throws of his own with 34.9 seconds left to tie the score at 70.
Colorado held for a final shot, but Higgins' twisting 18-footer from the right elbow was long, and the Buffaloes' tap-in try fell short.
Both teams struggled to score in a first half that featured no lead greater than six points.
Burks led Colorado to a 31-28 advantage at intermission with 16 points, but the remainder of the team shot just 22.7 percent from the field. USF shot 34.6 percent and committed seven turnovers. The clubs combined to miss 15 of 27 free throws.
Returned to northern California (Danville, Calif.), 40 miles from San Francisco.
Made his 97th career start.
Scored 28 points surpassing Michel Morandais for eight place on CU's scoring list (1450).
Currently stands in sixth place on the CU career minutes list (3355) passing Randy Downs (3354)
Led the team in rebounding for the first time this season (27th career)
First time scored 20 points in a game his season (26th career)
Scored a career-high 29 points (11 made FGs, a career-high)
Scored 16 points in the first half, the most this season in the first half
Third straight 20+ game and his 11th of career
Third straight led CU in scoring (17th career)
26th career game with at least five or more field goals in a game
Started for the first time his career (at San Francisco)
two blocked shots; leads team with Roberson, who also has a team-high three blocks
Recorded a block for the second straight game.
Scored his first collegiate point with a free throw (2:21 first half).
CU has now made a three-pointer in 260-straight games (sixth longest streak in Big 12).
CU led at the half for the second time this season (Idaho State).
Tonight a pair of 20-point scorers, last time a pair of 20-point scorers (vs, Texas Tech, March 7, 2010: Higgins 30, Burks 24).
Single-digit turnovers second time this season (Idaho State). Tonight nine turnovers.
First overtime since Kansas (Feb. 3, 2010).
CU has dropped six straight overtime games dating back to 2008-09.