The Colorado Buffaloes beat the #22 ranked Baylor Bears Tuesday night 78 - 71 behind great performances from Alec Burks, Cory Higgins and Marcus Relphorde. The Buffs were down five points at halftime but surged in the second half behind Higgins who scored 16 of his 18 points after intermission. Five Buffs scored in double digits and as a team, shot 50%. This is the first win for Colorado against a ranked opponent in three years and keeps their perfect record at home this season. With the loss, Baylor's nine game winning streak came to an end and will probably drop them from the national rankings next week.
After a relatively slow start to the season, Marcus Relphorde has really turned it on in Big 12 play, having by far his two best games of the season scoring 24 this past weekend against Texas and adding 17 versus Baylor. He also led the Buffs with seven rebounds and is now showing why people were so excited about his ability to play both inside and outside after transferring to Colorado this season.
The Buffs were once again out-rebounded by their opponent, something that has plagued Jeff Bzdelik's team the past couple of years. Baylor had 36 rebounds to Colorado's 23 but the Bears killed themselves turning the ball over 18 times compared to CU's five.
Colorado is now 10-6 overall and 1-1 in the Big 12 conference. The Buffs will face their third straight ranked Big 12 opponent in Kansas State this Saturday. The Wildcats come in ranked 12th in the nation after beating Texas A&M Tuesday night 88-65. G Jacob Pullen leads the Wildcats scoring over 20 points per game. The good news for the Buffs is that the game is at the Coors Event Center, where Colorado is now 9-0 on the year.
Hopefully this is a turning point for Colorado basketball and something they can build on. The Buffs will have to show they can win the road if the want to be considered a team who can potentially make some noise in conference play. Colorado has dropped 22 consecutive road games overall and 30 straight in Big 12 play. But for now, this is a good win early in conference play that should give the team some confidence going forward.