And thanks to the Colorado Buffaloes for stopping by.
Kansas defeated Colorado Saturday afternoon, 97-73, but until Silas’ foul, the Buffs were still in striking distance and seemingly poised for a run.
The Jayhawks got off to a quick start and led 47-30 with just 1:38 left in the first half. Nevertheless, Colorado fought back to narrow the halftime score to 47-34 and started the second half with a Silas three-pointer to make it a 10-point ballgame.
Led by Richard Roby’s 30 points, the Buffaloes stayed within arms length of the #6-rnaked Jayhawks, but at the 11:20 mark, Chalmers stole the ball from Silas about 30-feet from the basket. Knowing that Chalmers had nothing but open floor between himself and the KU hoop, Silas reached out and grabbed the Jayhawk guard’s arm. Referee Ed Hightower whistled Silas for an intention foul.
Chalmers hit both free throws to make the score 65-54, and on the ensuing KU possession, Brandon Rush hit a three-point shot from the corner to put the Jayhawks up by 14.
“I was just playing like before and I went to get [the ball] and he just grabbed me,” Chalmers said, describing the key play very matter-of-factly.
“It was a nine-point game and they had the ball and 30 seconds later, we’re up 14. So I would say that was a pretty key play,” KU coach Bill Self commented.
From there, Kansas went on a 26-7 run before Self cleared his bench.
Russell Robinson wasn’t sure if the intentional foul call sparked KU. “We got focused in defensively, got out and got some steals and got some easy baskets. Maybe that was the start of it.”
This wasn’t the only time KU’s perimeter players lifted the Jayhawks Saturday. Their play carried the team.
- Russell Robinson shot 5-9 from the field, including 2-3 from behind the arc, for 12 points. He also had three steals and dished seven assists against just two turnovers.
- Sherron Collins continues to be instant energy off the bench. The Chicago freshman scored 11 points (3-of-5 FG, 1-of-3 3-pt. FG, and 4-of-5 FT) and amazingly had five assists with no turnovers in 19 minutes.
- Mario Chalmers made a major move to break out of his midseason slump by scoring 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-4 from three-point land. He also grabbed five rebounds.
- Brandon Rush scored 11 points in the game’s first nine minutes en route to a 21-point performance. Rush was 8-of-13, 3-of-5 from the arc and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.
Richard Roby bounced back from missing 35 of his last 50 shot attempts to hit 10-of-15 (3-of-5 from behind the arc) field goal attempts and 7-of-10 free throws for 30 points. Colorado’s Jeremy Williams was the only other CU player in double digits with 11.
Kansas will likely need outstanding perimeter play again Monday night when they hit the road to beautiful, scenic Lincoln, Nebraska, to take on the new look, “small ball” Cornhuskers on another Big Monday appearance. Tip-off at the Devaney Center is set for 8:00 p.m., barring another high-flying, thrill-a-minute, edge-of-your-seat 46-42 triple-overtime Big East slugfest.