It was only a matter of time.
Finally bringing an end to their four-game losing streak, the Buffs (12-13, Big 12 3-8) defeated the Oklahoma Sooners (13-12, Big 12 4-7) 77-67 Wednesday at the Coors Events Center. They now stand at 3-3 at home in the Big 12.
“It was huge for us,” said Buffaloes junior guard Cory Higgins. “We let a couple of them slip away these past couple weeks. It helps us to feel good about ourselves and get another win under our belt.”
Higgins led the Buffs in scoring with 18, shooting 7-of-17 from the floor and 3-of-3 from the foul line.
Freshman guard Alec Burks went for 17 shooting 5-of-6, while junior guard Marcus Relphorde had his second career double-double, with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Oklahoma freshman guard Tommy Mason-Griffin lead the Sooners with 19 points and was 7-of-12 from the floor. Sophomore guard Willie Warren added 19 points, but it was not enough to overcome the Buffs.
“You have to give them all credit,” said Oklahoma head coach Jeff Capel. “They got away in transition and got some easy baskets, and really put us on our heels.”
Overall, Colorado was 28-of-56 from the floor, with 22 fast break points. The team shot 15-of-18 from the foul line. Although rebounding has been a problem this season, Colorado found themselves even in rebounds with Oklahoma.
“Everyone contributed from a defensive rebounding standpoint” said Colorado head coach Jeff Bzdelik.
The game opened with both teams trading leads. With 12:06 left in the first half, senior guard Dwight Thorne II hit a three, swinging the momentum Colorado’s way. They managed to stretch their lead to eight, only to fail to score for the over four minutes. The Buffs found their rhythm again, and brought a 33-30 lead into the locker room at half time.
The second half saw the Buffs come out much in the same way as they had finished the first. Taking control of the game with help from Higgins’ 16 second-half points, Colorado’s lead was stretched to 15.
But the Sooners battled back. Poor offensive play and some threes cut the Oklahoma deficit to only five.
“We put ourselves in positions many times to win and we have haven’t been able to close it out,” said Bzdelik.
The Buffs now have momentum going into their next few games in the Big 12.
“It’s always good to get a ’W’ no matter,” Alec Burks said after the game. “It’s nice against a team like that because they have a lot of great players.
Colorado travels to Lawrence, Kansas, where they look to build on their newfound momentum against the No.1 ranked Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Mark McNeillie at Mark.firstname.lastname@example.org.