Nebraska 68, Colorado 61
BOULDER, Colo. (AP)—Freshman Joe McCray scored 21 points, including a clutch 3-pointer late that helped Nebraska hold off a big Colorado comeback for a 68-61 victory Wednesday night.
McCray, a guard from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., scored 11 of his team’s first 13 points—a layup and three 3-pointers—but his most important bucket came with 1:34 left after Colorado had trimmed a 17-point deficit to four.
McCray spotted up at the top of the 3-point circle, elevated and swished the shot for a 61-54 lead, and the Cornhuskers (8-4, 2-0 Big 12) had more or less secured a win in this, their first conference road game of the season. McCray finished 5-for-8 from 3-point range.
Richard Roby (20 points), the half brother of Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin, scored nine straight points to help Colorado (8-5, 0-2) pull within five with 4 minutes left. But CU never got the game to within one possession, and now the Buffs must prepare for a home game Saturday against No. 2 Kansas.
That one could get ugly if CU plays anything like it did early against the Huskers.
Missing top rebounder Julius Ashby with a foot injury, Colorado’s already thin front line got thinner.
Starting in Ashby’s place, 6-foot-11 Lamont Arrington was no match for the Huskers. Arrington finished with no points and no rebounds while Nebraska center Aleks Maric, a 6-foot-11 freshman from Sydney, Australia, finished with eight points and 11 rebounds, five of those on the offensive glass.
Jason Dourisseau had 11 points and seven boards for Nebraska.
The Huskers grabbed only five more rebounds than the Buffs, but they ran to their big lead by basically shutting down the middle on defense. CU scored just three baskets in the paint in the first half while running to a 37-22 lead.
The loss spoiled a 22-point, 14-rebound performance by CU’s Chris Copeland, who shot 6-for-12—the only Buff player to make half his shots on a night in which CU shot 34 percent.