8:05 PM ET, March 2, 2005
Bob Devaney Sports Center, Lincoln, Nebraska
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska coach Barry Collier couldn't pinpoint exactly why his Huskers have won three consecutive Big 12 conference games.But after Nebraska defeated Colorado 70-55 Wednesday night, he listed a few reasons why his team has improved to 7-8 in the Big 12 and has a chance to finish .500 in the league if it beats Kansas State on the road Saturday."You'd like to think you play with intensity and aggressiveness all the time, but there does seem to be a little extra bounce and effort," Collier said. "A lot of it has to do with this team never giving up and your time running out at the end of the season."Senior center John Turek, who played his final home game, said the winning streak has been a team effort."We're having different guys step up every night," said Turek, who had a career-high seven blocked shots. "Our team is really gelling together right now. I think our team is really well-rounded now."Even though Wednesday was Senior Night, the players who were at their best were underclassmen.Freshman Joe McCray scored 14 of his 21 points in the first half as Nebraska used a 15-0 run to take control of the game. Junior Wes Wilkinson had 10 of his 13 points in the second half to stop any threat of a Colorado comeback and sophomore Charles Richardson had a career-high 10 points while pushing the ball up the floor."I thought, at the end of the game, 'This is Senior Night, it's not my night,' " Richardson said. "But you've got to take advantage of the opportunity."McCray's 3 pointer with 12:20 left in the first half triggered the 15-0 run by Nebraska (14-12). Jason Dourisseau's tip-in 3:22 later made it 28-10."The game plan changed a little bit," Richardson said. "We were trying to get out and run. That's my game, get the ball and go."Colorado (13-14, 4-11) had its chance to come back as Nebraska missed its next six shots from the field. But the Buffaloes failed to hit two free throws and turned the ball over twice.Colorado could manage only eight points during a Nebraska scoring drought that lasted almost five minutes.Nebraska then used a 9-0 flurry in just over a minute to open the lead back to 19 points.Nebraska hit 45 percent of its shots in the first half compared with 29 percent for Colorado. Nebraska blocked nine shots in the first half."We had trouble scoring early," Colorado coach Ricardo Patton said. "We got good looks, we just couldn't score and we couldn't hit our free throws."The Huskers struggled to open the second half, hitting just 2 of 12 shots and committing five turnovers. But Colorado could get no closer than 12 points on Andy Osborn's layup, with 12:40 left.Nebraska stretched the lead to 21 on a Wilkinson three-point play and two free throws.Nebraska travels to Manhattan, Kan. Saturday where it will play Kansas State with a chance to end the season with the best Big 12 record in Collier's five years at Nebraska."It would mean a lot," Richardson said. "We're just trying to end the season on a good note. We just need to go out and play the way we've been playing."
|FG Made-Attempted||23-62 (.371)||26-57 (.456)|
|3P Made-Attempted||5-20 (.250)||7-14 (.500)|
|FT Made-Attempted||4-11 (.364)||11-16 (.688)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||18 (0/0)||16 (0/0)|