Buffs Get First Big 12 Victory

After getting hammered by Oklahoma in their first Big 12 conference game, the Buffs returned home and got back on track by beating Kansas State 69-63.

Boulder - The Colorado men's basketball came out on top in a hard-fought, physical victory in Wednesday night's 69-63 win over Kansas State to open the home portion of their conference season.

Colorado (11-4, 1-1 Big 12) rebounded from last Saturday's conference-opening loss to Oklahoma to snap the Wildcats' (10-4, 1-1 Big 12) eight-game winning streak. The win was the both the seventh in the Buffs' last eight games overall and in their last eight games against the Wildcats in Boulder.

"It was easy to see why Kansas State had won eight straight," said head coach Ricardo Patton. "They are a very good basketball team, fortunately for us, we played pretty good defense and held on to the lead. We won a game not playing our best basketball. The effort was good. We were not always playing smart, but they really played hard. If we can play smarter, we'll win some games."

Junior forward Michel Morandais paced the Buffs with 25 points, leading the Colorado for the seventh time this year. It was his fifth 20-plus point effort of the season and continues his season-long streak of scoring in double-digits in each game.

Junior guard Blair Wilson scored 12 points, all coming in the second half, while senior forward Stephane Pelle had 11.

Kansas State's Matt Siebrandt opened the game with a lay up from the right side, giving the Wildcats their first and only lead on the night - a lead they would relinquish just 38 seconds later. The Wildcats had just two players in double figures as guard Tim Ellis finished with 14 and Siebrandt had 12.

The Buffs largest lead of the game came with 48 seconds left as they drove the margin to 12 points after Kansas State had closed the gap to as few as four points just four minutes earlier.

"It's always a threat (late in the game) when you have more than one shooter to guard," Patton said. "They had more than one guy that could make three's so I was never comfortable until it was over."

The Buffs now turn their attention to Saturday's contest against Nebraska. Colorado will travel to Lincoln for the 6:05 p.m. tip. The Huskers are 8-7 overall, 0-2 in Big 12 play.

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