BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- Kansas' once-comfortable lead had been
trimmed to seven points, and Colorado fans were raucously cheering
on their team in hopes of another upset.
Not this time.
Aaron Miles hit a 3-pointer as the shot clock was winding down
to trigger a 7-0 run in the closing minutes, and Kansas (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today, No. 13 AP) went
on to beat Colorado 77-62 Monday night.
"That was a huge play," said Kansas coach Bill Self,
successful in his Big 12 debut. "Aaron got sick last night and had
IVs in him."
Miles said he "knew the clock was winding down. I knew I had
it. I just had to step up and take the shot. Everyone contributed
in the end. We had a lot of people step up."
Wayne Simien had 21 points and 14 rebounds as the Jayhawks
avenged a 60-59 loss here last season.
Simien insisted revenge was not a factor for the Jayhawks.
"Not really," he said. "We just wanted to win because it's a
Big 12 game on the road."
Kansas, leading 37-29 at halftime, used a pair of 7-0 runs in
the second half to keep Colorado at bay.
Colorado, which dropped its third straight game, all at home,
cut the deficit to 40-34 early in the half before the Jayhawks'
first seven-point surge, which included Jeff Graves' three-point
Kansas maintained a double-digit lead for most of the remainder
of the half, but the Buffaloes chipped away and made it 66-59 on
Harrison's free throw with 3:14 left.
Kansas responded with its second 7-0 flurry, ignited by Miles'
3-pointer. Langford followed with a layup, and Miles hit two free
throws for a 73-59 lead with 1:50 remaining.
"We made plays and we hung in there down the stretch. It was
good to see. We had four or five guys make plays," Self said.
"Kansas hit some big shots," Colorado coach Ricardo Patton
said. "We had some good defensive stands, and late in the shot
clock somebody would step up and hit the shot. We didn't make our
free throws. It really comes down to people making plays."
The Jayhawks prevailed despite having two of their big men,
Graves and David Padgett, foul out in the final six minutes.
They were casualties of guarding Harrison, Colorado's 7-foot
Kansas double-teamed Harrison, and Colorado didn't shoot well
enough from the perimeter to loosen the inside pressure. Still,
guarding Harrison took a toll.
"He fouled everyone out," Self said.
Kansas outshot Colorado 45 percent to 36 percent.
Simien scored 14 points in the first half, during which the
Jayhawks used a pair of 8-0 runs -- the first to open up an 11-point
lead and the second to forge a 16-point advantage.
Miles made a fast-break layup after a steal to highlight the
first surge, which put Kansas up 21-10 with 11:39 left in the half.
Wilson's 3-pointer cut the deficit to 25-17 before Kansas scored
eight straight points, the first six by Simien. He dunked
off a rebound, made a jumper in the lane and sank two free throws.
Giddens' short jumper capped the flurry, making it 33-17 with 5:05
Colorado responded with a 12-2 run, including a three-point play
by Wilson and a 3-pointer by Morandais, trimming the lead to 35-29.