It took two extra periods, but Colorado upset the Bears in the first round of the conference postseason tournament. It was the first time in the history of the Big 12 tourney a 12 seed has knocked off a 5 seed.
They overtime win was good enough for Jermyl Jackson-Wilson. JJW was on the CU squad last year when the Buffs exited after losing in the first round of the Big 12 tourney.
“We said we didn’t want to feel that way ever again,” JJW said on the 760-AM post-game radio show.
For much of the game, it looked as though CU wouldn’t have to go to overtime to find a postseason win. The Buffs took advantage of an overplaying Baylor defense and found the back door play open in the first half, en route to a 34-21 advantage at the break. CU shot an amazing 72 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes.
Colorado opened up a 15-point lead in the second half before Baylor rallied to tie it at 65-65 and send the game into the first overtime.
“Baylor is a high scoring team. Give them credit,” JJW said. “They put the ball in the hole and…we weren't locking up on defense as well in the second half. But we kept punching like a boxer and we got the last knockout punch.”
Senior Richard Roby never left the game, and led all scorers with 32 points in 50 minutes of action. He added 12 rebounds. Fellow senior Marcus Hall had a double-double as well, pouring in 25 points and dishing 10 assists. Teammate, and the other senior on the team not wanting to end his CU career Thursday, Marcus King-Stockton had a career-high five blocked shots.
CU missed several free throws down the stretch, which aided Baylor’s comeback. But, according to assistant coach Steve McClain, head coach Jeff Bzdelik told his team afterward he was very proud of the way they fought through the miscues and found a way to win.
McClain said Bzdelik told the CU players it was the proudest he’d been of a win in his long career.
“It would have been easy to put our heads down when we went into overtime, but Coach did a great job (of keeping them focused),” McClain added. “We made some stops when we had to and got some big rebounds when we had to.”
The win was Colorado’s 12th on the season, against 19 losses. Baylor, who fell to 21-10 with the loss, was widely believed to be on the NCAA Tournament bubble. Their chances at making the 65-team field may have burst Thursday.
Meanwhile, CU will play No. 4 seed Oklahoma Friday at 1 p.m. (MT) in the Big 12 quarterfinals.
NOTES: Marcus Hall’s 10 assists tied a career high and set school record for a Big 12 Championship game. (Jaquay Walls handed out six assists vs. Texas in a quarterfinal game in 1999). …
Roby’s 32 points set the school's single-game record for points in a Big 12 Championship game, breaking Kenny Price's mark of 31 vs. Texas, also in 1999. Roby has now has scored 1,983 points, seven away from tying Bernard King (Texas A&M, 1999-2003) for fourth in Big 12 history, 17 away from becoming the fourth player in league history to reach 2,000 points in his career, and 12 points behind Donnie Boyce on CU’s all-time career scoring list.