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Buffs Look to Remain Unbeaten at Home

Dec 16, 2010

GAME #9 vs. The Citadel Bulldogs (3-5). Friday, Dec. 17, 7:37 p.m. (MST)
Television: FSN Rocky Mountain  : Drew Goodman (p-b-p), Ceal Barry (analyst), Marc Stout (sideline).
Radio: KKZN 760-AM: Mark Johnson (p-b-p), Chris Lewis (analyst). SIRIUS Channel: 125   
Series vs. The Citadel: 0-0. Series vs. the Southern Conference: 3-0.


QUICKLY: Colorado (5-3) has won 17-straight non-conference home games since the 2008-09 season including eight straight home games dating back to last season - The Buffs have won all their home games in 2010-11 season (5-0) - CU last won four games in a row was the 2008-09 season from Dec. 10-28 - CU has been on a nine-day break in between games due to final exams (last season 12 days) - CU's overtime win over CSU snapped a six-game overtime losing streak, tied for a school record. Previous streak: 6 consecutive overtime losses from January 23, 1982 to December 27, 1984.

NATIONAL LEADERS: Colorado ranks in the top-53 in seven national categories (see last page of notes), while Alec Burks is the highest Buff in the individual rankings. Burks is 28th overall in scoring at 20.5 points per game and ranks third overall among all sophomores. He ranks behind C.J. McCollum, Lehigh (22.8 ppg.), who is 12th overall; and Chris Fouch, Drexel (22.4 ppg.), who is  13th overall. Cory Higgins is 80th in free throw percentage (86.0%).

TEAM NOTES: CU's last three wins they are averaging 85.3 points per game and shooting 53.8 percent from the field. Four players are in double figures with Levi Knutson leading the way with 18 points per game; Alec Burks  (17.3 ppg.), Marcus Relphorde (15.3), Cory Higgins (13.0). On the glass, Andre Roberson and Relphorde are leading with 5.7 and 5.0 a game, respectively - CU shot a season-best 35 made free throws against Colorado State and improved to 15-1 against the Rams at the Events Center since 1979 - CU has won all five games when four players score 10 or more points - CU has forced more turnovers than committed in all eight games and committed single-digit turnovers in four of eight games this season - The Buffs are 5-1 when scoring 80 or more points.

TONIGHT'S OPPONENT: The Citadel Bulldogs (0-3 on the road) are 3-5 this season and have won three of the last five games. The Citadel Athletics Department has 16 Varsity Sport Teams. The Citadel is affiliated with NCAA Division I athletics and in football the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA). The school's conference affiliation is the Southern Conference, of which they have been a member since 1936.

SOPHOMORE SENSATION: Alec Burks scored a game-high 25 points against Colorado State 8-for-16 (.500) from the field and added  9-for-10 (.900) from the free throw line. He shared team rebounding honors with five, then added two steals and an assist. Burks made two key free throws in overtime that helped the Buffs go 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the extra session. When Burks leads the team in scoring at half (four times), he has gone on to score at least 20 points for the game

INDIVIDUAL NOTES: In his last five games, Marcus Relphorde has averaged 14.6 points and 5.0 rebounds per game - In his last three games, Levi Knutson is averaging 18 points and is shooting 75.0 (18-for-24) from the field - Austin Dufault tied a career-high three blocks against CSU - Cory Higgins in five home wins (21 assists, 4 turnovers), in three losses (2 assists, 11 turnovers) - Higgins is the only player after eight games to lead the team in one of the five major stat categories (points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks) after a game - Burks is the only CU player to have scored in double digits every game this season.

FREE THROW SHOOTING: Here's a look at the current team at the charity stripe with under five and two minutes to play.

5:00-2:01               Higgins:                  23-of-24                  95.8%

Percentages           Burks:                      17-of-25                  68.0%

                                Relphorde:                7-of-12                  58.3%

                                Tomlinson:               4-of-4                    100%

                                Dufault:                    3-of-4                    75.0%

                                Knutson:                   4-of-4                    100%

                                Sharpe:                     2-of-2                    100%


2:00-0:00                      Higgins:                  25-of-30                  83.3%

Percentages           Burks:                      37-of-46                  80.4%

                                Relphorde:              11-of-13                  84.6%

                                Tomlinson:             12-of-14                  85.7%

                                Knutson:                    7-of-9                   77.8%

                                Sharpe:                       0-of-2                  00.0.%


OT Percentages     Higgins:                    9-of-9                   100%

                                Knutson                    4-of-4                   100%

                                Burks                         3-of-4                   75.0%

                                Relphorde:                 2-of-3                   66.7%


Combined Total       Higgins:                  57-of-63                  90.5%

                                Burks:                      57-of-75                  76.0%

                                Relphorde:              20-of-28                  71.4%

                                Tomlinson:             16-of-18                  88.9%

                                Knutson:                  15-of-17                 88.2%

                                Dufault:                    3-of-4                   75.0%

                                Sharpe                       2-of-4                   50.0%

TONIGHT'S FEATURE is sophomore forward/center Shane Harris-Tunks. Harris-Tunks will miss the 2010-11 men's basketball season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. Harris-Tunks, a 6'11", 250-pound center was to be a key ingredient down low in the paint with the Buffaloes this season, injured his left knee during the first half hour of practice (Oct. 28). Last season, he averaged 1.8 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. He shot 61.1 percent and led the Buffs with 14 blocked shots.

SHARING THE BALL: For the first time since the 1996-97 season (and four other times before that), CU had two players with at least six or more assists in the same game in back-to-back contents. Against Texas-Pan American, Cory Higgins and Shannon Sharpe had seven and six assists, respectively. Last Saturday, against Oregon State, Marcus Relphorde recorded eight assists with Higgins adding six dimes.  Upon further research, there was no record of two players having six or more assists in a single game in three consecutive games.

WINS/LOSSES: In five victories (all at home), the Buffs are averaging 87.0 points per game; shooting 51.4 percent from the floor, and outrebounding the opponent by five a game. Four players are averaging 10 or more points with a team average of 18.4 assists per contest. In three road losses, CU averages 73.7 points a game; shoots 41.2 percent from the floor, average only seven assists, and has two players in double digits (both over 20 a game).

MORE LEVI: His six-3-pointers against Oregon State are the most since Richard Roby made six against Nebraska (Jan. 25, 2006). Knutson's eight FGs made ties a career-high - Knutson is the first CU player other than Cory Higgins and Alec Burks to lead the Buffs in back-to-back scoring games since Dwight Thorne II led CU in scoring Jan. 31 (at Kansas) and Feb. 4 (Nebraska) during the 2008-09 season. Burks/Higgins have led CU in scoring outright 33 of the last 39 games.

MOVING UP THE CHARTS: With 1,526 career points, Cory Higgins is 40 points from seventh place on the school's all-time scoring list (Randy Downs: 112 games played, 1,566 pts., 1982-85). Here's a look at the other lists Higgins appears on: third in free throws made (445), fifth in career minutes (3,509), sixth in steals (168), FT attempts (547), and game starts (101), eighth on CU's scoring list (1,526), and 14th in assists (247).

FIRST YEAR HELP: Freshman Andre Roberson leads the Buffaloes in rebounding (53) with 6.6 a game, blocked shots (10), and tied for the lead in steals (13). He also leads on the offensive (20) and defensive glass (33). More impressively he has led the Buffs at the end of the game in a variety of categories: five times in blocks (twice shared), rebounding five times (three shared), three times in steals (once shared), and assists twice (both shared).

CHARITY STRIPE: Alec Burks and Cory Higgins have reached the free throw line 122 times combined after eight games. The pair have made 102 of them (83.6%). The rest of the team is 66-of-95 (69.5%).