Colorado 64, Missouri 62

Colorado used some late game heroics from <A HREF=[PlayerNode:1691547]>Richard Roby</A> and a strong defensive stand to beat <A HREF=http://missouri.Scout.com>Missouri</A> 64-62 at the Coors Events Center Wednesday.

Richard Roby's 3-pointer with 21.1 seconds remaining was enough to give Colorado the lead, and the Buffs held on for a 64-62 win over Missouri in Boulder Wednesday.

There were 14 lead changes in the hard-fought game, and the outcome seemed far from over after Roby hit his big bucket.

Missouri called a timeout, but after they brought the ball up the floor, the Buffs' defense — which had been solid all night — turned stellar. An off-balance, long-range trey was all Missouri could find, and the shot fell short.

Jayson Obazuaye ended up with the ball and was fouled with 1.3 seconds remaining. Though he failed to convert either of his two free throws, Julius Ashby grabbed the rebound and the game was over.

"It's good to know the good Lord is still in the miracle business," CU head coach Ricardo Patton said afterwards.

Patton decided to go with a zone defense whenever MU leading scorer Linas Kleiza was in the game, and the strategy worked. The Buffs held Missouri's Kleiza mostly in check. After scoring 31 in MU's win last weekend, Kleiza was 4-of-17 from the field for 14 points vs. Colorado.

Overall, Missouri shot just 35 percent from the field. Colorado countered with 40 percent.

The Buffs came from behind in the first half to take a lead into the locker room when Andy Osborn hit a jumper near the lane with 30 seconds remaining. Thomas Gardner's trey at the halftime buzzer was taken off the scoreboard after officials reviewed tape, and the Buffs led 29-28.

At one point in the second half, Osborn went down hard after going for a rebound under the CU basket. He lay on the ground until an official called a timeout and he was helped from the floor. A CU trainer taped his right wrist, and Osborn came back into the game and hit a 3-pointer at the 14:07 mark, giving Colorado a five-point lead.

Two possessions later, Marcus Hall grabbed a long rebound dribbled to the basket, put a behind-the-back move on his lone defender and scored.

But Missouri battled back and the two teams traded leads several times down the stretch.

Roby led CU with 15 points. He hit 3-of-6 3-pointers, including the one at the end of the game.

"I seen my defender's hands was down, and I just seized the opportunity and shot it," Roby said. "Thank God it went in."

After playing so poorly in a loss to Nebraska Jan. 12 it looked as though they may not win a conference game this season. But the Buffs have won two in a row over Big 12 foes.

On Wednesday, in front of 4,360 fans, CU moved to 10-7 overall, 2-4 in the Big 12. Missouri fell to 10-9 overall, and is tied at 2-4 with the Buffs.

Up next for CU is Oklahoma State at home Sunday at 2 p.m. (ESPN Regional).

GAME TALK

Ricardo Patton

Opening Comments

It's good to know the good Lord is still in the miracle business.

I thought our guys played hard. We came out and played with some confidence. We had chances to let the game slip away, but it was a great team effort from all of our guys. I thought we stepped up and played a very very good Missouri team. It's certainly a good win.

Any time you can win close games, it teaches you how to win.

Q: Andy Osborn hit the big shot the other night, Richard hits it tonight. Does it feel good having two different guys do that?
Patton:
I think any time we don't have to depend one one person to mke a shot for us when we need one, it speaks volumes. But as I told them afterwards, I'm interested in seeing where that pass came from. Who gave him the ball, that's the guy I want to give some credit to.

On playing so much zone vs. Missouri.
Patton:
In looking at film on them I thought (Kleiza) was a very difficult matchup. Even though they had some shooters that they could put around them in our zone. One of the things the zone defense allows is for us to play a bigger lineup, with Andy and Chris and Julius are out there at the same time. It's a defense that for the last couple games has been pretty good for us.

Q: How much did the win at Iowa State give you confidence coming into this game?
Patton:
The thing you learn from winning is how to win. Certainly Iowa State was a game that we had to play extremely hard. That's a lesson in itself, how hard you've got to play from start to finish.

The truth of the matter, too, Julius Ashby makes a difference with his presence inside. He draws attention more than some of the other big guys that we were playing in his absence.

Q: Did you stress better perimeter defense at halftime?
Patton:
We talked about our zone slides defensively, and where we were getting hurt. We made some adjustments particularly with our two top guards. That spot is probably the toughest spot to play in the zone.

Richard Roby

Q: Did it feel like you had a good look on that game-winning shot?
Roby:
I seen my defender's hands was down, and I just seized the opportunity and shot it. Thank God it went in.

Q: Did you have a play set for that point?
Roby:
We were just trying to get the ball in the post and maybe draw a foul. Something happened and I just ended up with the ball.

STATISTICAL LEADERS
Colorado
Scoring: Roby 15, Copeland 12
Rebounds: Copeland 11
Assists: Hall 6
Blocks: Ashby 3
Steals: three tied with one
Turnovers: Hall 3
Missouri
Scoring: Jason Conley 16, Linas Kleiza 14
Rebounds: Marshall Brown 8
Assists: Jason Horton 8
Blocks: Kevin Young 1
Steals: three tied with one
Turnovers: Kleiza 3


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