CU trailed the Wildcats for three-fourths of the game, and fell behind by 16 points with under six minutes to play. But the Buffs staged a strong comeback and had a chance to tie and send the game into overtime on their final offensive possession.
Trailing by two points with 9.1 seconds on the clock, Roby grabbed a rebound of a missed Lance Harris foul shot, sent the outlet pass to teammate Marcus Hall, who raced the court and drove the lane for a game-tying layup. But the ball bounced off the backboard and KSU's Jeremiah Massey grabbed the rebound and secured Kansas State's win.
Massey had an outstanding game, scoring 28 points, and grabbing 19 boards, seven of them on the offensive end.
"We had no answer for him," CU head coach Ricardo Patton said of the muscular 6-foot-7 Kansas State senior.
As has become Colorado's M.O. this season, the Buffs lacked intensity until the closing minutes of the game.
"It's almost like until we get our backs against the wall, we don't know how hard to play," Patton said. "We waited too long to care."
Kansas State, meanwhile, outplayed the Buffs around the basket. The Wildcats, who moved to 5-9 in Big 12 play with the win, pulled down 39 rebounds, 13 on the offensive end. Compare that to CU's 24 rebounds, and you have a key to KSU's victory.
Also, the Buffs struggled from the foul line Saturday, sinking just eight-of-18 foul shots.
"Those two categories basically cost us the ballgame," Patton said.
After trailing by 10, 39-29, at the break, the Buffs played well enough to put themselves in a position to win the game late. Roby, who had eight points in the first half, hit five 3-pointers in the second half, and tied a career-high seven treys for the game.
Guard Jayson Obazuaye had 15 points, most on drives to the hoop.
Patton said the Buffs were in a good position to tie the game as the seconds ticked down.
"We wanted (Hall) to blow it up the court, knowing they wouldn't foul at that time," he said. "We got what we wanted on the last possession."
Patton's team is in jeopardy of ending the season with a losing record for only the second time in his tenure. CU was 13-14 in 1997-98.
Points: Richard Roby 30, Jayson Obazuaye 15
Rebounds: Chris Copeland 5
Assists: Marcus Hall 5
Turnovers: Antoine McGee 2, Hall 2
Steals: Roby 2, McGee 2
Blocks: Roby 1, Julius Ashby 1
Points: Jeremiah Massey 28, Lance Harris 20
Rebounds: Massey 19
Assists: Clent Stewart 4
Turnovers: Fred Peete 5
Steals: Five tied with 1
Blocks: Tyler Hughes 1
Nineteen members of the 1954-55 Colorado team, which played in the NCAA Final Four and won third place that season, were present and honored at halftime Saturday. Among those at Coors were 88-year-old H.B. Lee, who coached that squad, and former All-American and two-time Olympic Gold Medal-winner (1956, 1960) Burdette Haldorson …The four players who were suspended for Tuesday game at Missouri, Copeland, Hall, Ashby and Martane Freeman, played Saturday. However, Hall and Ashby, who had been starting prior to Tuesday's loss, did not start.