In Kansas men’s basketball’s ranked matchup versus its former conference foe the No. 20 Colorado Buffaloes, the No. 2 Jayhawks cruised to a 72-58 victory.
Colorado came out shaky to start the game as the Buffaloes committed four turnovers on their first six possessions. Kansas, on the other hand, started out strong. Sophomore forward David McCormack got the team off to a fast start. He sunk three mid-range jumpers in the first four minutes that gave the Jayhawks an early 8-3 lead heading into the first media timeout.
Shortly after that, Colorado quieted Kansas’ run with back-to-back threes from senior forward Lucas Siewert. However, the Jayhawks answered with a 9-0 run thanks to a couple fast breaks layups off missed shots by the Buffaloes. That spurt pushed Kansas’ lead back up to 10 points.
Colorado started the game shooting a combined 4-of-19 from the field and all four of its makes came from beyond the arc.
A big reason why the Buffaloes couldn’t find the bottom of the net early on was the stout defense from junior guard Marcus Garrett. He did a good job getting a hand in the face of Colorado’s shooters and disrupted the flow of their offense, recording three steals in the first half of the game.
Colorado’s leading scorer on the season, junior forward Tyler Bey, tallied his first two points of the night at the free throw line, but that didn’t come until the final minute of the first half.
To close out the first half, Garrett found senior center Udoka Azubuike open on the low block. Off the catch, the Nigeria native threw down a two-handed and-one slam while being hacked by Colorado’s sophomore forward Evan Battey.
Kansas walked into halftime with a comfortable 34-22 lead.
The Buffaloes’ struggles continued in the second half. Colorado turned over the ball three times before the first media timeout of the second half, which allowed Kansas to extend its lead.
After a crafty hook shot lay-in from senior guard Isaiah Moss, Garrett stole the ball from junior guard McKinley Wright IV and passed to sophomore guard Ochai Agbaji, who proceeded to knock down a wide-open three pointer. That shot bumped Kansas’ lead up to 41-24 at the 16:41 mark of the second half.
Agbaji hit another transition three at the 15:08 mark, but after that, the Jayhawks went the next four minutes and 57 seconds without making a field goal. In that stretch, Colorado cut Kansas’ lead back down to 12 before Agbaji hit his fourth three of the game to break the ice.
Colorado’s junior forward Maddox Daniels responded with a three of his own on the next possession, but Moss drilled another immediately after.
At the 5:55 mark, the Buffaloes star player, Bey, sustained an injury after having his knee landed on by freshman forward Tristan Enaruna. Bey’s night ended there as he needed help walking off the court and into the locker room.
After the injury, Kansas went on another 9-2 run that put the nail in the coffin of Colorado.
Next Tuesday, Kansas will return to Allen Fieldhouse to take on the Milwaukee Panthers. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.