"Very happy with the way we played," said Colorado head coach Jeff Bzdelik. "We really shared the basketball well. We really just fought hard the best we could defensively, just scrapped and forced them into tough shots. Everybody contributed and it's a great, great team win for us."
The Buffaloes shot 61.9%, and were led by four scorers in double figures. CU guards Cory Higgins and Alec Burks each had 19 points, and guard Marcus Relphorde had 12. But the biggest surprise was forward Casey Crawford, who entered the game averaging just over four points per game. Crawford went off for 20 points. So why did the Huskers fail to stop him?
"I think we saw him on the game plan," said NU head coach Doc Sadler. "I didn't have them ready. It was my fault."
Nebraska never led once during the course of the game. Colorado jumped out to a quick start with three three-pointers, but Nebraska battled back. A Ryan Anderson three-pointer narrowed the score to just an 11-10 CU lead. After that, Colorado took control. The Buffaloes went on a 12-0 run, and took a seven point lead at halftime.
Nebraska would cut the Buffalo lead to six points early in the second half, and the momentum appeared to be shifting in the Huskers favor. So CU head coach Jeff Bzdelik called a timeout, and helped turn the momentum back in his team's favor.
"They got back in that game in the first half, the closed the separation when we had two clusters of bad turnovers that we couldn't defend," said Bzdelik. "Don't turn it over, stay aggressive on offense, keep them from getting to the rim, and rebound the ball, we did three out of those four things well."
The loss for Nebraska hands them their 16th loss of the season, and 13th in conference play. However, the loss stings even worse because the game was the last home game for Nebraska's four seniors. After the game, Doc Sadler expressed his disappointment.
"You got guys like Ben Nelson, Sek Henry, Ryan Anderson, and Chris Balham that have given so much to this program, and you're going to give up 81 points in their last game," said Sadler after the loss. "It's inexcusable. Inexcusable on my behalf. It's totally my responsibility."
Nebraska has one more game left on their schedule, before the Big 12 tournament begins. The Huskers may not play another game on the Devaney Center court, but there is still plenty of work to do. Nebraska has three days to prepare for a trip to Gallagher-Iba Arena when they take on the Oklahoma St. Cowboys. So Doc Sadler knows his team needs to work harder than ever, if they want to finish out the season in respectable fashion.
"We go to work at five in the morning," Sadler said. "We're going to go to work and we're going to work hard. We're going to work hard and we're going to come back on Friday and do the same thing and we're going to work hard. It's the only thing I know how to do is roll up your sleeves and go to work because that right there is inexcusable. Inexcusable. That's all I know to do is go to work. That's what I plan on doing."
The 81 points that Nebraska surrendered marks the fifth time they have surrendered more than 80 points in the game. Doc Sadler was very disappointed in his postgame press conference, but he vows his team will compete.
"I'm just sorry for the fans that came out and we're going to get it corrected," Sadler said. "We're going to get it corrected. I don't ask a lot. I don't ask you to make (all your) shots, but we are going to compete because that's a character deal. Beyond basketball and in life, you have to compete. It's not going to be easy."