LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska coach Barry Collier couldn't
pinpoint exactly why his Huskers have won three consecutive Big 12
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
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
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
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
"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."