At crucial moments it was the Buffs who played like youngsters, throwing the ball away, getting beat down the court in transition and failing to box the Hawks out on the defensive end of the court. Kansas had as many offensive rebounds, 19, as Colorado grabbed off the defensive glass.
"We was playing soft today. We let guys push us around and beat us on the boards," said guard Richard Roby. "That was one of our strengths in the (non-conference), our rebounding. The last couple games we've been getting outrebounded. …We've been playing some pretty good big men."
KU big man Christian Moody led Kansas with 18 points, many on fast breaks where the Kansas team beat CU down the floor.
"The run the break better than anyone in the country," Roby said.
Colorado fell behind by five in the first half, but Roby sank one of two foul shouts with just over a minute to go to knot the game at 29 apiece. After Marcus Hall threw the ball away, Kansas had one possession and Kansas freshman Julian Wright hit a fade-away to give the Jayhawks a 29-27 advantage at the break.
Kansas caught fire midway through the second half. Then a thunderous dunk by KU freshman Brandon Rush with just over 4 minutes to play drew oohs and ahhs from both fan bases, and gave Kansas a 13-point lead, 64-51. It also seemed to take the air out of Colorado's tires for good.
Or maybe not. Senior forward Martane Freeman hit a trey from the corner, then stole the ball in the backcourt and converted a driving lay-up and the ensuing foul shot. That pulled the Buffs to within seven with 2:39 to go. But that's a close as CU would reach. Kansas went into an effective stall offense to close out the contest.
Colorado fell to 10-3 overall, 0-2 in conference with the loss, while Kansas climbed to 10-4, 1-0.
Points: Chris Copeland 22
Rebounds: Richard Roby 5
Assists: Marcus Hall 6
Turnovers: Roby 3
Blocks: Marcus King-Stockton 3
Steals: three tied with 2
Points: Christian Moody 18
Rebounds: Darnell Jackson, Moody 8
Assists: Russell Robinson 6
Turnovers: Jeff Hawkins 4
Blocks: Brandon Rush 2
Steals: Mario Chalmers 3
The game featured two players on opposing sides with brothers in the NBA. Roby's half-brother Kenyon Martin plays for the Denver Nuggets, and Brandon Rush's brother Kareem Rush plays for the Charlotte Bobcats. Rush guarded Roby on defense in the first half and blocked Roby's jumper the first time he went up against him. Roby returned the favor by getting loose for a jumper a few moments later.
The official attendance was 10,586. It looked about 50 percent CU and 50 percent KU. "They were the home team today," Roby commented, "but we can't let that discourage us."…CU women's basketball coach Kathy McConnell-Miller took the microphone and addressed the crowd in the first half. She thanked the students, especially, for coming out and then members of the women's team walked through the student section handing out pizzas. ...Fans can vote for the 10-year All-Big 12 team at the league web site, www.big12sports.com/10th-anniversary/ through Feb. 2. …Colorado plays a suddenly hot Missouri team on the road in Columbia Saturday.