Kansas 75, Colorado 63
BOULDER, Colo. (AP)—Freshmen Mario Chalmers and Brandon Rush took over the game in the second half to help young and supposedly struggling Kansas to its seventh straight victory Wednesday night, 75-63 over Colorado.
Chalmers, a star in last year’s McDonald’s All-American game, had two assists and a 3-pointer during a 13-5 run that gave Kansas breathing room in what had been a close game.
One of the assists was an underhanded alley-oop to sophomore C.J. Giles, who slammed it home. The other was a nifty, no-look pass to Rush on a 3-on-2 that left the CU defense completely fooled.
Senior Christian Moody, the only upperclassman in coach Bill Self’s starting lineup, led the Jayhawks (10-4, 1-0 Big 12) with 18 points. Rush scored all 17 of his points in the second half and Chalmers finished with 11 points and six assists as the Jayhawks won their conference opener for the 15th straight year.
The Buffs (10-3, 0-2), off to their best start since 1978-79, thought catching this Kansas team early and at home might be the way to get a victory in one of the most lopsided series west of the Mississippi.
Playing in front of a packed house that was, as always in this matchup, about half filled with Jayhawks fans, Kansas won for the 33rd time in the last 34 meetings against Colorado. Buffs coach Ricardo Patton fell to 1-22 against Kansas.
Chris Copeland led Colorado with 22 points and Richard Roby had 15. The most telling stat, though—Kansas outrebounded Colorado 50-28 and no Buff player had more than five boards.
Trailing by 13, the Buffs made a brief rally when Martane Freeman followed a 3-pointer with a steal and layup for a three-point play. That cut the Kansas lead to 64-57, but the Jayhawks scored two straight buckets to ice the game.
That sent many of the Buffs fans to the exits, while many in the Kansas contingent sat in the stands and waved goodbye. When the final buzzer sounded, the KU fans gave their kids a standing ovation.
And while a victory over Colorado is hardly enough to make a season in Lawrence, it certainly was a good sign. This road win came on top of a 73-46 pasting of Kentucky last weekend and kept the Jayhawks without a loss since Dec. 6.