Quick start fuels Buffs' win over The Citadel

The rest during finals week paid for the Buffs as they came out rejuvenated tonight and beat The Citadel 89-61 at the Coors Events Center.

Cory Higgins benefited the most from the break after suffering a bruised kidney and leg in the first eight games of the season.

"We all itch to get back out on the court," Higgins said. "I felt great for the first time in a long time."

Higgins came rested and dropped 18 points and five assists on The Citadel.The Buffs came out gunning and sent a message to the Bulldogs early.Higgins hit two 3-pointers on the first three possessions of the game.

Alec Burks hit another 3-pointer on the next possession. Austin Dufault grabbed a defensive rebound and passed to Nate Tomlinson who hit Higgins in stride for a layup. Chuck Driesel was forced to take a timeout and Colorado never looked back.

Higgins and Burks combined for 19 points in the first 11 minutes of the game and the Buffs coasted into half with a 41-28 lead.

Burks came out hot again to start the second half with a layup and a 3-pointer less than a minute into the half, forcing another Citadel timeout. The Buffs pushed a 13 point halftime lead to 22 just a few minutes into the half and coasted to their 18th straight nonconference win at home.

Controlling the entire second half, the lead was 18 or more for the last 19 minutes of the game. Burks led the team with 19 points on a nearly perfect night from the field. Burks shot 7-for-8 from the field and 3-for-4 from the foul line.

Starting point guard Nate Tomlinson wasn't looking for his shot too much but handed out eight assists. Austin Dufault had the play of the night throwing down a pass from Marcus Relphorde.

The bench played a key role in the win, getting big minutes and great play out of reserves.

Big men Andre Roberson and Ben Mills also contributed down low. Roberson scored 11 points and grabbed ten rebounds. It was Roberson's first double-double in his career with his 11th point coming on a dunk with just 39 seconds left in the game.

"Andre keeps getting better and better and better. I expect a lot out of him but 10 rebounds in 21 minutes is pretty efficient," coach Tad Boyle commented.

Mills brought the crowd to its feet multiple times in the first half as he scored six points in just 3 minutes. Levi Knutson came off the bench to give the Buffs 11.

"I thought they came in dialed in. Ben Mills came in the first half and gave us a punch offensively," Boyle said.

The Buffs shot 60 percent from the field and had 23 assists on 34 baskets. The Colorado defense forced 13 turnovers while holding the Bulldogs to just 41 percent shooting for the game.

After the easy win, Colorado has Longwood coming to Boulder on Sunday before it heads for the Las Vegas Classic beginning on Wednesday. The Buffs extended their winning streak to four as they improve to 6-3 on the season.


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