BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Marcus Relphorde, Levi Knutson and Cory Higgins celebrated senior night by leading Colorado past Nebraska 67-57 Saturday.
Relphorde scored 19 points, Knutson added 13 and Higgins chipped in 12 as the Buffaloes (19-12, 8-8 Big 12) kept alive their slim hopes for an NCAA bid.
With 10 points each, Toney McCray and Lance Jeter led the balanced Cornhuskers (19-11, 7-9), who were denied their first 20-win regular season since 1992-93.
This was the last Big 12 regular season game for the both schools. Colorado is headed to the Pac-12 next season and the Cornhuskers are bolting to the Big Ten.
An NIT bit notwithstanding, this was the last home game for the seniors — and maybe the farewell performance for super sophomore Alec Burks, who will weigh a jump to the NBA after the season.
Each time Burks, who scored 12 points, stepped to the line, the crowd chanted, “One more year!”
Another, seldom-used senior, Trent Beckley, played meaningful minutes and hit a hook shot, his first points of the year, giving Colorado a 42-38 lead. A fifth senior, Javon Coney, played two minutes.
The Cornhuskers twice got within a point but couldn’t take their first lead.
Knutson’s 3-pointer put Colorado ahead 55-48 and Andre Roberson’s tip-in made it a nine-point game with just less than five minutes remaining.
Higgins was trapped by a double-team near midcourt when he swept around his defenders and drove to the basket for a lay-up that gave the Buffaloes a 59-50 lead.
The Buffaloes iced it at the free throw line after that.
The Buffaloes, whose NCAA tournament chances diminished when they followed an upset of fifth-ranked Texas with a loss at lowly Iowa State, jumped out to a 14-3 lead by hitting their first seven shots.
They cooled off and shot just 26 percent the rest of the first half, taking a 33-28 lead into the locker room. Burks scored just 3 first-half points, his only bucket coming on a breakaway layup with a minute left.
The Buffs set school single season records with their 15th home win and their fifth sellout at the Coors Events Center.
Read more about the game at CUBuffs.com.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)