Asked afterward what he thought of Durant after getting to see him up close, CU head coach Ricardo Patton chuckled: "I'm glad I don't have to see him again. …I didn't see any flaws in his game."
With the win, Texas climbed to 11-3 while CU lost its Big 12 opener for the 10th straight time, and fell to 4-7 on the season.
Junior Marcus King-Stockton started the game guarding Durant, but sat most of the half after earning two quick fouls. Jermyl Jackson-Wilson and Richard Roby took turns guarding him after that. Roby outscored Durant in the first half, 22 to 21. In fact, it was still anyone's game when the two teams went to the locker room at the break.
While Texas took an early lead, Dominique Coleman sparked the Buffs off the bench. Two Coleman steals and assists led to a 12-11 Colorado lead. The teams went back and forth for much of the remainder of the half until Texas took a 51-48 lead at the whistle.
Then Texas showed why it leads the Big 12 in rebounding. Crashing the offensive boards and finding themselves open from beyond the arc, UT pulled away from CU midway through the second half.
The Buffs went to a zone defense, and Texas answered with four-consecutive 3-pointers (two by Durant, two by D.J. Augustin) to take a 70-57 lead. Colorado wasn't able to make any more runs after that.
Texas outrebounded the Buffs 49-27, and the Longhorns pulled down 20 rebounds on the offensive end. They also took advantage of a sometimes-lax transition defense by Colorado.
"Transition defense is something that has to be learned over time," Patton said afterward. "It's a work in progress."
Adding to CU's woes was the fact that its best rebounder, Jackson-Wilson, was suffering with an asthma issue and looked winded when he was on the court in the second half. He managed just two boards in 19 minutes.
On the other end, Roby had perhaps his best game of the season on offense. The junior went 10 of 19 from the floor and scored 30 points.
Coleman added 12 points, six assists and led CU with seven boards. Xavier Silas had 17 points.
Roby said the obvious following the loss.
"We proved to ourselves we can ply with a (good) team for 25 minutes, but it's a 40-minute game," Roby said.
Points: Richard Roby 30, Xavier Silas 17
Rebounds: Dominique Coleman 7
Assists: Coleman 6
Turnovers: Kal Bay 4
Blocks: Roby 2
Steals: Coleman 3
Points: Kevin Durant 37
Rebounds: Durant 16
Assists: D.J. Augustin 9
Turnovers: Durant 5
Blocks: three with 1
Steals: Augustin 4