No. 3 Kansas 89, Colorado 60
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP)—This was “Streak Week” for Kansas.
It started on Wednesday night with the Jayhawks’ 29th straight victory over Kansas State.
On Saturday, with Wayne Simien getting 25 points and 12 rebounds, No. 3 Kansas swamped Colorado 89-60 for its 22nd straight victory over the Buffaloes at home.
“It wasn’t exactly how we planned it out,” Colorado freshman Richard Roby said. “They played great and they always seem to play like that.”
In their last 32 games against Colorado, the Jayhawks (20-1, 10-0 Big 12) are 31-1.
“They got kind of tired and we started to run,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “Wayne played terrific. It was a good win.”
Simien was 11-for-11 from the free throw line—all in the first half. The 11 free throws were first thought to be a school record for one half but Kansas officials later said their record book had not been updated and that Simien had actually tied the mark he sat last season.
Regardless of records, it was a virtuoso performance by the 6-foot-9 senior as well as by point guard Aaron Miles, who had 17 points and nine assists after committing eight turnovers and scoring only one point against Kansas State.
“We were pretty stagnant in the first half and early in the second half,” Simien said. “Then we got a few big plays and a few key stops and it was off to the races after that.”
Colorado (12-10, 4-7), which had won four of six after starting the conference season 0-4, fought back from a 12-point deficit to make it 51-46 on a basket by Jayson Obazuaye.
But then Miles and J.R. Giddens hit 3-pointers and got the Jayhawks’ running game in high gear against the Colorado zone. Simien then scored on two straight possessions to trigger a 34-11 run, dooming Colorado coach Ricardo Patton to his 21st loss in 22 games against the Jayhawks.
“When Kansas made that run, our team didn’t respond,” Patton said. “They dropped their heads.”
The key basket in the stretch may have been the thunder dunk that Simien made off an alley-oop pass from Miles.
“That play and getting a couple of key stops really energized us,” Simien said.
Going 11-for-11 at the line, he said, was “nothing major. They’re just free throws.”
The Buffaloes, whose only win over Kansas in their last 32 games was a one-point squeaker at home on Jan. 22, 2003, had 16 turnovers and only eight assists and were outrebounded 45-33 by Kansas’ senior-laden lineup.
Since a 21-point defeat at Villanova, Kansas has won six straight and the closest was by nine points.
“Fouls played into it,” said Patton, who argued frequently with game officials. “The lighting must have been better on my end than the other end. I told the officials that.”
Keith Langford had 14 points and Giddens added 11 for Kansas.
Roby, who had scored 20-plus points in his three previous games, was held to 14 points on 4-of-10 shooting. Marcus Hall added 10 points.
“I really thought we had a chance,” Patton said. “Things had to go our way and they didn’t.”
The Buffaloes had 11 turnovers and no assists in the first half, but Obazuaye drove the length of the floor for a layup at the buzzer that cut Kansas’ lead to 40-33.
Overall, Kansas is 109-39 against Colorado.
“They let us hang around for a while but they took it at us late in the game,” Colorado forward Andy Osborn said. “If they go at it for 40 minutes, they are going to be tough to beat in the (NCAA) tournament.”