Burks, Higgins lead Buffs past No. 8 Missouri

Sophomore Alec Burks had career-high 36 points in an 89-76 win over the eighth-ranked Missouri Tigers.

"I try to start every game aggressive," Burks said.

Burks scored 20 of his 36 in the first half on 8-11 shooting and added eight rebounds, six of which were on the offensive end.

"He took it to another level," coach Tad Boyle said about Burks' performance.

Senior Cory Higgins showed his leadership and versatility with 18 points and 10 rebounds, his first double-double of the year.

With point guard Nate Tomlinson hampered by a sore hip, Higgins also ran point for the Buffs for the majority of the second half.

The biggest keys to the win on the defensive end were holding the Tigers to just 40 percent shooting and outrebounding the Tigers by 14.

"It's not a magic formula," Boyle said of his team's defensive strategy. "If we do that, we are going to give ourselves a chance to win every game."

But Boyle also praised the team's offense, stating that the Buffs good shot selection led to them shooting 47.8 percent from the field. Colorado also made 19 of 23 free throws.

The players have picked up the offense that coach Boyle brought to Boulder and scoring points is getting easier every game.

"We're scoring without even trying almost," Higgins said about how his team is clicking on the offensive end.

Colorado's game plan from the beginning was to use Missouri's high-pressure defensive attack against it and it worked as the Buffs had just 10 turnovers, and only two in the first half when they built a 12-point halftime lead.

"We like to run, so they are just giving us opportunities to run every time they press. Every time they press our eyes lit up," Higgins said.

Austin Dufault scored 12 points, 10 in the first half, and grabbed seven boards. But Dufault biggest impact was limiting Missouri forwards Ricardo Ratliff and Laurence Bower's touches in the paint. to the spot on defense," Dufault said was the key to his defense.

Guard Levi Knutson provided a spark off the bench with 13 points and a career-high seven rebounds. Knutson hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the second half to extend Colorado's lead to 18.

This win gave Colorado its first victory over a Top 10 opponent since 2003. Missouri has never won a Big 12 opener on the road.

"It's the biggest win we've had since I've been here," Higgins said. "Hopefully its one of many more to come this year."

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