BOULDER, Colo. (AP)—Colorado’s Richard Roby and Dominique Coleman are constantly bickering on the court.
They just do it to get the other mad enough to take over a game.
The ploy worked in the Colorado Buffaloes’ 89-77 win over No. 12 Oklahoma State on Saturday as Coleman tied a career high with 21 points and set a personal-best with 15 rebounds. Roby contributed 20 points and nine rebounds.
“If Richard misses a shot I tell him to come harder,” Coleman said. “I believe he’s one of the best players in the country, him and (Texas freshman Kevin) Durant. He needs to keep playing like he’s the best.
“Richard tells me I need to be more aggressive, score and attack more. I listened to him.”
Meanwhile Colorado freshman Kal Bay saw something on film the night before that he thought he could exploit against the Cowboys—their aggressiveness on defense.
“I knew if I could get by (Byron Eaton) just a little bit, I could create,” Bay said.
He did just that as he tied a career high with 21 points and hit five 3-pointers for the Buffaloes (6-13, 2-7 Big 12), who have now beaten at least one ranked team at home in each of the last five years.
Eaton apologized after the game for not stopping Bay.
“I didn’t do a good job against Bay and he hung me there in double figures and that’s my fault,” Eaton said.
After the game, Roby was asked if the score would shock people around the nation. He just shook his head.
“We knew we had it in us,” he said. “We just had to put a whole game together.”
Oklahoma State coach Sean Sutton warned his team not to overlook Colorado. The Cowboys (18-4, 4-3) didn’t take heed as they fell to 0-3 on the road this season.
“We don’t seem to handle success very well,” Sutton said. “They haven’t proved they can win on the road. It’s not like they weren’t warned, that this is a must win if they wanted any chance to win the Big 12.”
Despite being sick—even leaning on a wall outside the locker room at halftime to keep his balance—JamesOn Curry finished with 20 points. Eaton had a career-high 19 points and Mario Boggan added 17.
The nausea didn’t make Curry feel nearly as bad as the loss.
“There is no excuse how we played,” said Curry, who has scored in double figures in every game this season. “We definitely came into this game and took it lightly. This loss is very disappointing to us. We keep trying to keep a good mindset.”
The Buffaloes, who led 44-29 at the intermission, improved to 72-1 under coach Ricardo Patton when leading by a double-digit margin at halftime.
Colorado led by as many as 17 early in the second half, but the Cowboys cut it to six, 76-70, on Curry’s three-point play with 3:04 remaining. The Buffaloes made 11 of 12 free throws from that point on to close the game out and end a four-game losing streak.
Colorado built up a big lead due to a 19-3 run over the final 4:34 of the first half to turn a one-point deficit into the 15-point halftime lead.
Patton wasn’t the least bit surprised his team could spring the upset. It was simply a matter of getting them to believe.
“I expect to win all of them,” said Patton, who announced last October that he will step down after the season. “I think our guys came in with a new attitude. That’s what it’s all about—our players stepping up. Hopefully we can build on this.”
Although listed at a very generous 6-foot-3, Coleman is leading the team in rebounding. To Coleman, though, it shouldn’t be a surprise.
“I just have a knack for the ball,” Coleman said. “I always just like to go after it and be very aggressive and box out with wide shoulders.”
Sitting next to Coleman at the post-game news conference, Roby burst out laughing.
Coleman looked over at Roby and joined him.