Colorado withstands late Texas rally in 88-79 win
BOULDER, Co. (AP) -- Richard Roby scored 22 points, Marcus Hall added 17 and Colorado withstood a big second-half run by No. 23 Texas to beat the short-handed Longhorns 88-79 on Tuesday night.
Andy Osborn had 14 points and some key rebounds in the second half for Colorado (12-9, 4-6 Big 12), which had five players in double figures and beat the Longhorns for just the second time in nine games. The Buffaloes also hounded freshman Daniel Gibson, Texas' leading scorer the previous six games, into 4-of-12 shooting and eight turnovers.
Brad Buckman had 27 points and 21 rebounds, and Jason Klotz added 16 points for Texas (15-7, 4-5), which has lost four of five and will likely drop out of the polls after being ranked as high as No. 10 just a month ago.
Down to seven scholarship players -- three freshmen -- because of injuries and grades, the Longhorns were miserable in the first half and didn't get much better to start the second, falling behind 58-36 with 14 minutes left.
Texas tightened up at both ends to get back in it.
Working the ball inside to Buckman and Klotz, the Longhorns freed up their shooters on the perimeter, hitting four 3-pointers during a 21-3 run that cut Colorado's lead to 61-57 with 7½ minutes left.
Texas was just as good at the other end, forcing Colorado into tough shots and bad passes. The Buffaloes missed 11 of 12 shots during Texas' run and didn't seem like they'd be able to hold on.
But Colorado built its lead back up as quickly as it lost it. Hall hit a 3-pointer, Osborn dropped in a baseline jumper and Hall added two free throws to put the Buffaloes up 70-59 with 4:45 left. Texas trimmed the lead to 83-77 on Kenny Taylor's consecutive 3-pointers in the final minute, but Colorado went 5-of-6 from the free throw line to seal it.
The Longhorns were lucky to have even had a chance with the way they started the game.
Forcing passes in traffic and misfiring from all angles -- at least three shots hit the side of the backboard in the first half alone -- Texas missed 13 of 16 shots midway through the first half to fall behind by 15. The Longhorns shot just 30 percent in the half and spent a good portion of halftime bickering and yelling at each other.
Texas' defense was only marginally better.
The bigger Longhorns were effective at keeping the Buffaloes from scoring inside, but didn't rotate quick enough get out on their shooters.
Swinging the ball around the wings for numerous open looks against Texas' zone, Colorado hit four 3-pointers during an 18-5 run that put them up 29-16 with just over 4 minutes left. The Buffaloes were just 7-of-21 from long range, but it was plenty good enough considering the Longhorns were just 1-for-9.
Texas switched to a man-to-man defense late in the half, but it didn't slow Colorado. The Buffaloes started penetrating the lane for runners and floaters, with Jason Obazuaye and Hall each hitting two to put Colorado up 40-25 at halftime.