Buffs' season ends

CU coach Ricardo Patton told his players that they were about to encounter the best player they'd faced all year in Oregon senior Luke Jackson. The 6-7 scorer went a long way toward proving Patton's point, leading the Ducks to a 77-72 overtime victory over Colorado Wednesday in Eugene, in the first round of the NIT. The loss ends Colorado's season.

Remarkably, Jackson scored 31 of UO's final 33 points in the contest. Alone, the all-American outscored the entire Colorado team 31-23 in the 13-minute span, which included the overtime. It was an eye-opening turnaround from the first half.

Early in the game, it became apparent that Oregon's running style of offense suited the Buffs fine. Led by a ferocious effort from senior Lamar Harris on the boards, CU jumped out to a 45-30 lead at the half, quieting the raucous Oregon fans along the way.

Colorado extended its halftime lead to 18 points, but Oregon tightened up its defense, and held the Buffs to just one field goal through nearly 14 minutes of the second half.

The Ducks slowly clawed their way back into the game, and Jackson gave UO its first lead of the second half, 58-56, when he converted a three-point play at the 2:37 mark. Colorado scored the next five points and had a three-point lead when Jackson hit an improbable, leaning three-pointer to knot the game at 61-61 with just over 20 seconds remaining.

Michel Morandais' jump shot with time running out rimmed out and the teams went into the extra period.

After putting Morandais on Jackson for much of the first half, Harris drew the duty for much of the second half, and that's when the all-American came alive. He scored 14 points in overtime, 11 of them from the free throw line, and ended with 40. He was too much for CU, and led the Ducks to the win in the extra five minutes.

CU shot just 23.8 percent in the second half, and struggled at the line all game. Morandais, CU's second-leading scorer, hit just six-of-20 shots. The Buffs managed just 10 assists, while committing 15 turnovers, 11 of those after the half.

Harrison played well and led the Buffs with 26 points and 12 rebounds, giving him 12 double-double for his junior season. He also added three blocked shots.

The game was the final game in a Colorado uniform for Buffalo seniors Harris, Morandais, Blair Wilson and Amadou Doumbouya, who didn't play.

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