"It looked like it was good to me," CU head coach Ricardo Patton said, echoing what most people in the arena thought when they watched the ball leave Jackson's hand.
Texas Tech found themselves in the game after Colorado jumped out to an early 22-8 advantage. That was before a rash of CU turnovers helped TTU get back in the game. The Buffs were up 30-25 at the half.
"No one said it would be easy," Patton said. "We knew they wouldn't go away after that lead."
After Andy Osborn scored CU's first eight points of the game, the Buffs struggled shooting the ball most of the rest of the contest. CU managed just 33 percent from the field. No one struggled more in the first 20 minutes than Richard Roby. The sophomore had five turnovers before the break and looked out of rhythm whenever he shot the ball.
Roby ended the game 3-of-11 from the floor, but sank 10-of-11 free throws — three days after his missed foul shot at the end of the game at Texas A&M handed the Aggies the win. Roby tried to make up for the poor shooting and giveaways by hitting the boards. He had a career-high 15.
"I wasn't making shots," the sophomore said. "I knew I had to do something else to help my team."
Meanwhile, senior Martane Freeman sparked Colorado in the second half off the bench. Freeman was left at home for disciplinary reasons when CU played at Texas A&M Wednesday. Saturday he sat the bench longer than usual. But in the second frame, the 6-7 forward scored eight of his 13 points.
"I wanted to come out and get a victory," Freeman said. "I felt like I let my teammates down by not going to Texas A&M."
For the third-consecutive game, the Buffs failed to take care of the ball, turning the ball over 19 times. They dominated the boards, however, grabbing 51 to TTU's 39.
"We made the game hard down the stretch (by missing three foul shots) — we should have closed things out," Roby said. "But we came out with a win. That's what's important."
Points: Richard Roby 17
Rebounds: Roby 15
Assists: Marcus Hall, Roby 3
Turnovers: Roby 6
Blocks: Roby 3
Steals: Hall, Roby 2
Points: Jarrius Jackson 18
Rebounds: Zeno Martin 8
Assists: Jackson 7
Turnovers: Martin 3
Blocks: Darryl Dora 3
Steals: Jeremy Buttell 1
Colorado fans were greeted with a new visual in the Coors Events Center. The mural promoting Chauncey's Kids Roundup — featuring large photos of Chauncey Billups and Ralphie — was hanging in the corner of the arena. Billups, the former Buff and current Detroit Piston and NBA All-Star, donated $100,000 over the next four seasons for kids tickets to CU games. Billups' parents were on hand for a brief ceremony announcing the initiative during the first timeout in the first half.
This was the most festive crowd at a home game this season. Along with the new mural, there was a big ceremony at halftime that honored three former Buffalo greats — Robert Jeangerard (19553-55), Jim Davis (1961-64) and Scott Wedman (1971-74). All three had their jerseys hung from the rafters and there were plenty of former teammates in attendance. The announced crowd of 8,601 seemed larger.
Wednesday's game in Boulder against Oklahoma looms very large. The Sooners were ranked 20th in both polls this past week and are in third-place in the conference, one slot ahead of CU. This looks likes the Buffs' best chance to knock off a ranked team this season — something that would add a little shine to Colorado's résumé when the NCAA Tournament selection committee looks at it.