Colorado 63, SMU 52

Marcus Hall

Less than midway through the season, the Buffs have more wins than they did last year. Friday night's 63-52 win at home over SMU gave the Buffs their eighth victory.

CU put a mark in its win column after they shot their way back into the game against Southern Methodist. The Mustangs took an eight-point lead early in the game before Colorado found its aim from long range, and went on a 14-0 run. Sandwiched in between four 3-point goals by Marcus Hall, Levi Knutson and Richard Roby (who had two of them), was a steal by Hall that ended in a layup. The bucket tied the game at 19 with 10:21 to go in the first half.

From there, CU built a lead it would never relinquish.

Knutson, the freshman guard, played 23 minutes — more than he had recently. That was due to sophomore Dwight Thorne watching from the bench in street clothes, nursing a bruised bone in his knee. Knutson responded with 4 of 6 from the field, including two 3-pointers.

Head coach Jeff Bzdelik said Knutson's practice habits helped him to be ready to answer the call.

"His work ethic is really terrific, and it helps him stay sharp," Bzdelik said.

Hall led all scores with 16 points, and he added five boards and six assists. In all, four Buffs scored in double figures, as Richard Roby and Xavier Silas both chipped in 15 points. It was the fourth consecutive game where four Buffs have scored 10 points or more. Bzdelik is pleased with the distribution of points, and shots.

"I like the fact that we're sharing the basketball," he said.

The youthful SMU team — the Mustangs have nine freshman on their 14-man roster — made a run at CU late in the game. But Colorado took care of the ball, sank some free throws and secured the win. CU moved to 8-5 on the season, while SMU fell to 6-7.

Colorado hosts Tulsa Monday before starting conference play on the road at Texas A&M Jan. 12.

Statistical Leaders
Colorado
Points: Marcus Hall 16
Rebounds: Jermyl Jackson-Wilson 7
Assists: Hall 6
Turnovers: Richard Roby 4
Blocks: Roby 2
Steals: Jackson-Wilson 3

Southern Methodist
Points: Bamba Fall, Alex Malone 11
Rebounds: Papa Dia 7
Assists: Jon Killen 6
Turnovers: three with 3
Blocks: none
Steals: Killen 2

NOTES
It's still unclear when Thorne will be able to return. "It's hard not having him on the court. Especially defensively in the Big 12, we need him on the perimeter," Hall said.

Jackie McFarland (19 points), Bianca Smith (18) and Brittany Spears (16) scored in double figures and led the Colorado women's team to a 65-53 victory over Pepperdine at Coors earlier in the evening. The Buffs, ranked No. 23 in the latest poll, are now 11-2.

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