AMES, Iowa -- Colorado's Marcus Relphorde missed a layup at the buzzer, and Iowa State held on to beat the Buffaloes 64-63 Saturday night.
Craig Brackins had 27 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Cyclones (13-8, 2-4 Big 12), but he threw the ball away on an inbounds pass with nine seconds remaining. That gave Colorado (11-10, 2-5) a golden opportunity to break a 32-game road losing streak in Big 12 play, but Relphorde's shot bounced off the rim.
Cory Higgins had 21 points to lead Colorado.
Colorado freshman Alec Burks left the game with an apparent knee injury early in the first half and didn't return. Burks entered Saturday averaging 17.2 points and five rebounds.
Iowa State snapped a three-game losing streak, but the Cyclones did all they could to give it to Colorado down the stretch.
With 24 seconds remaining, Higgins drove to the rim and converted a tough three-point play to cut Iowa State's lead to 62-61. Higgins hit another layup after a pair of Cyclones free throws, and Colorado trapped Scott Christopherson in the corner, forcing ISU to call a timeout.
After Brackins' inbounds pass went awry, Colorado's Austin Dufault scooped up the loose ball. The Buffs didn't have much time to get the play they wanted, and Relphorde missed the potential game-winner.
Relphorde had 11 points and Casey Crawford added 10 off the bench for the Buffs, who fell for the fourth time in five games.
For the first 24 minutes, it looked as though Colorado might cruise to its first Big 12 road win since 2006.
The Buffaloes led 37-25 early in the second half. But Brackins finally got going, scoring 10 quick points to help the Cyclones tie the score, and Diante Garrett's layup through traffic gave Iowa State a 41-39 lead with 11:11 left.
The teams traded buckets until Brackins hit a runner following his own steal to put the Cyclones ahead 54-50 with six minutes remaining. Brackins then followed a jumper with an emphatic one-handed dunk to give Iowa State a 60-55 lead with 1:48 left, but Relphorde answered with a 3-pointer.
Iowa State's losing streak began after guard Lucca Staiger stunned the team by bolting to play professionally in Germany. The Cyclones were pounded by No. 2 Kansas 84-61 on Jan. 23 in Ames, and host Oklahoma jumped ahead by as much as 21 late in the first half before winning 89-84 on Wednesday night.
Iowa State got off to another bad start against the Buffaloes, falling behind 18-4. The Cyclones committed seven turnovers in the first eight minutes, and four different Buffs hit 3-pointers to help push the lead to 14.
But Iowa State quickly rallied -- something it couldn't do against the Sooners. The Cyclones went on a 21-6 run, capped by two free throws from Justin Hamilton that gave them a 25-24 lead.
The cushion didn't last long, as Colorado scored the next seven points and went into halftime ahead 31-25.
Hamilton had 10 points and 12 rebounds for Iowa State.
The Buffs lost Burks less than three minutes into the game. Burks, the only true freshman in the nation to score at least 10 points in every game, appeared to hurt his left knee on a drive to the basket.