The only thing missing from the Colorado vs. Nebraska men’s basketball game was Ralphie leading the team onto the court.
But after seeing the outcome Wednesday at the Coors Events Center, the men in pads would probably give up the Ralphie entrance to be where the hoopsters are now.
Another packed student section watched CU top Nebraska 72-60 and improve to 10-1 at home this season. They also saw point guards Alec Burks and Nate Tomlinson continue their efficient play.
The duo accounted for nine of the team’s 12 assists (five for Tomlinson and four for Burks), and both were in the positive column with their assist-to-turnover ratio. It was evident after the game how important that stat is to winning.
“We just can’t turn the ball over,” head coach Jeff Bzdelik said. “We’re a pretty good team offensively in terms of our efficiency. We’re ranked nationally in a lot of categories.
“If you turn the ball over, you waste those possessions.”
On the flip side, the Huskers committed 16 turnovers and sent Colorado to the foul line 27 times. The Buffs made 21.
“Colorado was the aggressor tonight,” Nebraska head coach Doc Sadler said. “We turned the ball over 13 times in the first half. That’s being not ready to play.”
Burks scored a game-high 21 points and was 9-of-13 from the charity strike. He remains the only true freshman in the country to score in doubles figures in every game this season.
But Tomlinson’s well-rounded night (10 points, six rebounds and five assists) may have been the best indicator of a winning formula that the team should continue to follow.
“This team needs me to be aggressive if we want to reach our highest point,” said Tomlinson, who leaned against the Buffs’ locker room door and sighed in relief after bouncing back from three consecutive scoreless games.
Colorado had a 20-point cushion at one point and despite a late rally by Nebraska, they kept Big Red out of striking distance. By not falling prey to the Huskers’ swarming press the last five minutes, the gold-clad Buffs made a big statement to the school’s faithful and showed signs of increasing maturity for a young team.
“We’ve given up a lead a couple times and were lucky to get away with it in a couple games earlier in the year,” Tomlinson said. “We didn’t let it get back to single digits, so that’s a credit to our guys.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer David Starcer at David.email@example.com.