(CU Independent illustration/Kelly Kaoudis)
Key victories for the men’s and women’s basketball teams and the ski team highlight the Buffaloes’ successful weekend sports action.
Already gaining national attention after back-to-back victories over ranked foes, the CU men’s basketball squad looked to improve on their final Big 12 standoff with another victory.
Keeping the sellout crowd of 11,096 on edge, the Buffs delivered with a scrappy effort against Oklahoma State, overcoming poor shooting to defeat the Cowboys 75-71 on Saturday at the Coors Events Center.
With the win, the Buffs improve to 14-4 overall and 3-0 in Big 12 play.
Senior guard Cory Higgins went perfect from the charity stripe to finish off the game with 23 points. Sophomore guard Alec Burks recorded his first double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 assists.
Kudos are also in place for head coach Tad Boyle, who garnered his 70th career win on Saturday.
But perhaps the more resounding accomplishment for Boyle is that with the win he becomes the first CU head coach since Henry Iba in the 1933-34 season to win his first three conference games in his first year as a coach.
After toppling two ranked teams, one at home and one on the road, the question on the heads of many of the Buff faithful will be whether the Buffs earn the respect of the coaches poll and AP rankings enough to see themselves ranked come Monday.
Colorado men’s basketball will look to keep their momentum charging when they travel to Lincoln, Neb., to face their storied rivals on Tuesday. Those interested in catching the matchup on TV can tune in to ESPN2 at 5 p.m.
The women’s team capped off the week with an impressive win of their own.
Playing without star sophomore guard/forward Chucky Jeffery, the Buffs displayed a solid team effort with a 66-60 win over No. 17 Iowa State at the Coors Events Center after the men’s game.
Helping the squad improve to 10-6 on the year and 1-2 in the Big 12, freshman guard Brittany Wilson led the Buffs with 19 points but it was senior forward Brittany Spears who owned the night with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
The Lady Buffs now charge south to Stillwater, Okla., to tip off against the Cowgirls of Oklahoma State on Tuesday.
Colorado placed 10 performers in the top 10 in four events to win the Montana State Invitational at Bohart Ranch and Big Sky, Mont. on Sunday.
Edging Utah by only nine points, the Buffs slipped by with a 921-912 score, the closest score in the history of the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association under the current scoring format.
“It’s good to have a victory under the belt, regardless of how tight it was,” CU head coach Richard Rokos said in a press release. “Utah came strong today, especially in Nordic women, but we maintained the lead and it’s good to go home with a victory.”
Events included the men and women’s slalom and classical.
Individually, CU sophomore Erika Ghent placed first in the giant slalom race at the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association slalom qualifier on January 14.
“Erika has been going in the direction of picking up a win,” ski team Head Coach Richard Rokos said of Ghent. “She is improving all the time.”
Two-time defending national champion Chip took third place at the 2011 UCA/UDA College Championships on January 14 in Orlando.
Based on judging from a video submission and a live performance, CU’s beloved mascot submitted a Las Vegas-themed skit parodying a scene from 2009 comedy The Hangover.
With a cameo from third place finisher Aubie the Auburn Tiger, the mascots reenacted a scene in which one of the characters walks in to a bathroom to discover a tiger.
“We have set our standards high and a third place finish is really great,” CU Spirit Coordinator Liz Harris said. ”We love the Gopher, we actually work with those guys a lot and like them, so we were happy to see them win. Poor Aubie has been second five straight years now.”
Contact CU Independent Sports Editor Esteban L. Hernandez at Esteban.email@example.com.
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