Colorado 78, Missouri 60

Glean Eddy came off the bench and Jayson Obazuaye led CU in scoring to spark Colorado to a 78-60 win over visiting Missouri Saturday. The win means Ricardo Patton's Colorado Buffaloes keep pace in the battle for fourth place in the Big 12.

After the win, CU coach Ricardo Patton said he's sacrificed minutes of players who are better defenders for better offensive players this season. He was speaking specifically of senior forward Glean Eddy, who after starting nine games last season, was averaging just eight minutes per game this year.

Saturday, the Buffs needed someone to step up and stop a hot Thomas Gardner, who helped Missouri to a double-digit lead early in the first half. Eddy found himself in the lineup after Martane Freeman earned two quick personal fouls trying to guard Gardner, and other teammates couldn't stop the Missouri guard.

Eddy put in his best game of the season. Gardner had 16 points at the break, but only three after the half, with Eddy defending him much of the way. Besides the defensive effort, the 6-6 senior also added 13 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes of play.

"Coach always say, be prepared when you're number's called," Eddy said. "I was in the bench waiting to get in. I just went in and did my job."

Prior to Eddy's spark, the Buffs struggled, as they have in the early part of recent games. Patton and Jayson Obazuaye admitted the team may have been playing tight early in games, and did again Saturday.

"We had a little pressure on us, feeling like we had to win this game," Obazuaye said. "I guess that's why we've been having slow starts. But we've got to treat every game the same; it doesn't matter who we play."

Unlike two recent road losses — at Kansas State and Nebraska — the Buffs loosened up before the first half ended, taking a 34-32 lead into the locker room. In the second half, Colorado calmly built its own double-digit lead.

"It's not how you start, it's how you end up," Patton said.

Unlike many wins this season, Colorado ended up finding points inside the 3-point line. The Big 12's leading 3-point shooting team shot a season-low three treys and a season-low 13 percent (3 of 22) from beyond the arc. It didn't matter as the Buffs took care of the basketball (just nine turnovers) and outrebounded Missouri 46-38.

Sophomore center Marcus King-Stockton had a strong second half, and led all players with 10 rebounds. Obazuaye and Richard Roby scored 15 points a piece.

The win puts the Buffs at 18-7 overall, 8-6 in the conference. Missouri, struggling before and since the unexpected retirement of coach Quin Snyder, falls to 11-14, 4-10.

By the end of the Saturday, the Buffs will be tied in fourth place in the league with the winner of the Nebraska-Texas A&M game. While one ESPN commentator termed Colorado a lock during the halftime broadcast of last week's CU-Kansas State game, now, two losses and a win later, most prognosticators see the Buffs as a bubble team for the NCAA tournament.

Roby said he's well aware of what commentators on television and radio are saying about the Buffs these days.

"I follow it a lot. I can't help it," Roby said. "I want to go to the tournament and I'll do anything to get there. I watch TV just as much as everybody else. When you're on the bubble, you just want to come out and win. You know you're so close, you just keep fighting."

THE NUMBERS
Colorado

Points: Jayson Obazuaye, Richard Roby 15
Rebounds: Marcus King-Stockton 10
Assists: Marcus Hall 9
Turnovers: Roby 4
Blocks: Martane Freeman 2
Steals: Roby 5

Missouri
Points: Thomas Gardner 19
Rebounds: Kevin Young 8
Assists: Jason Horton 6
Turnovers: Jimmy McKinney 5
Blocks: Kalen Grimes 1
Steals: three tied with 1

THE NOTES
Junior point guard Dominique Coleman missed the game with the flu. Coleman didn't practice Thursday or Friday this past week. …Two regular season games remain on CU's schedule. They play Wednesday at Kansas and back home vs. Iowa State March 4.


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