Even head football coach Gary Barnett's best effort to take back the arena — he and his players were introduced at halftime — didn't matter. The No. 2 Jayhawks beat the Buffs 76-61, in front of a full house in Boulder Saturday.
The score doesn't indicate how close the game was midway through the second half.
While Kansas outpaced Colorado in the first half for a 38-25 lead at the break, the Buffs played well coming out of the locker room. At the 12:19 mark in the second half, Chris Copeland's three pulled the Buffs to within four points, ignited the Colorado half of the crowd and got KU coach Bill Self off the bench to call a time out.
Less than a minute later, Marcus Hall closed the margin to within on at 45-44 when he found the lane for a layup and converted a foul shot.
For the second consecutive game, the Buffs shot poorly, hitting just 29.9 percent from the field. Kansas shot 38 percent from the field and scored 26 points in the paint.
Simien led all scorers with 23 and rebounders with 17. For the second straight game Copeland led CU with 22 points. Glean Eddy — who started because head coach Ricardo Patton liked the matchup he brought against KU's Alex Galindo — led the Buffs with 12 boards.
Kansas moved to 13-0 overall and 3-0 in league play. The Buffs fell to 8-6 overall, 0-3 in the conference.
While Kansas fans always show up in force for games at Colorado, it seemed like there were more blue-and-red crazies than ever before. And they were loud, beginning with the warm up drills.
However, Barnett did his best to put them in their place during a brief halftime speech at halfcourt. There were loud cheers and an undercurrent of boos when Barnett and the football Buffs took the court. Barnett addressed the crowd, saying he appreciated how the fans stood shoulder to shoulder with the team this past season. Halfway through the speech, and with a smattering of boos still echoing through the arena, Barnett's voice rose to pregame pep-talk level and he hollered, "One of the best victories we had this season was over the Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence!" The Colorado fans erupted.
Q: Do you feel like this is your team's best defensive effort to date?
Copeland: I believe so. We got up for this game. We knew we had to play hard on the defensive end to give ourselves a chance to win.
Q: Can you build on anything from this game?
Copeland: I think our effort was good this game. That's something to build on right there.
Q: Did this come down to shots? – them making them and you not?
Roby: We definitely didn't shoot well from the field. But this team's got to find different ways to win a game if the jump shot's not falling.
On what they did right in the second half
Roby: We started knocking down some shots and limited second-chance points (for KU). And we got on the boards a little bit and ran.
Patton: It was a really good effort by our guys; unfortunately we couldn't come out with the win. Hopefully it is something we can build on…learning to play unselfish basketball and cutting down mistakes.
They are not the No. 2 team in the country for no reason.
I think (the CU players) learned today, but whether we can sustain it, that will only come out within the next few weeks.
On CU shooting 30 3-point attempts
Patton: Between Copeland and Roby, they had 15 of the 30 attempts and they have proven that they can do that. When the ball isn't falling, guys need to understand they need to find something else to do to contribute.
On the play of Andy Osborn and Glean Eddy
Patton: Prior to the game we didn't even know if Andy was going to play because he is still nursing a foot injury and he gave us everything he had. Eddy did a great job too. Those guys did a nice job. One encouraging thing is that we had 22 offensive rebounds and Eddy had six of those.
Points: Copeland 22, Roby 14
Rebounds: Eddy 12, Copeland 11
Assists: Marcus Hall 5
Blocks: Copeland 2
Steals: three tied with 1
Points: Simien 23, Langford 14
Rebounds: Simien 17
Assists: Aaron Miles 6
Blocks: three tied with1
Steals: six tied with 1