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Kansas St. Wildcats Vs. Colorado Buffaloes: Can The Buffs Snap A Two-Game Losing Streak?

Sports Network | February 12, 2011 

GAME NOTES: The Colorado Buffaloes play host to the Kansas State Wildcats Saturday at the Coors Events Center as a pair of inconsistent teams look to take a step forward in a tightly-bunched Big 12 Conference.

Colorado continued a tough stretch through the Big 12 schedule with a sixth loss in seven games, falling to No. 22 Texas A&M by a 73-70 overtime final at home. Down three with 4.1 seconds to play, A&M came out of a timeout and got an uncontested three from B.J. Holmes to force overtime when all the Buffs needed to do was foul. CU hit just 3-of-12 field goals in overtime and shot 38.7 percent for the game. The Buffs were able to hit just three field goals over the final 9 1/2 minutes of regulation, wasting a milestone night for standout sophomore Alec Burks, whose 24 points made him the 27th player in the program's history to eclipse 1,000 career points. Cory Higgins added 19 points to the deflating loss.

Kansas State picked up its second straight win in dramatic fashion last Saturday, as senior Jacob Pullen polished off a dominant second half with a game-winning layup with 2.6 seconds left to gain an 86-85 road win at Iowa State. Pullen scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half and added eight assists. Will Spradling chipped in 14 points and Nick Russell 13, as K-State shot 50.8 percent from the field. Pullen's heroics helped overcome a strong shooting night from the Cyclones, who shot 56.0 percent from the field, hit half of their 14 three-pointers and made all but two of 24 attempts from the foul line.

The Buffaloes are searching for their first regular-season sweep of K-State since 2003-04 after toppling the then 21st-ranked Wildcats in Manhattan on January 12, 74-66. CU's win snapped a nine-game losing streak in the series. Although K-State leads the all-time series, 96-45, the Buffs can even up a pair of marks with a victory Saturday, trailing 32-31 in games played in Boulder and 16-15 in such Big 12 contests. The Wildcats have taken the last four meetings at the Coors Event Center.

The Wildcats have shown signs of life after getting pounded by rival Kansas in a 24-point loss January 29th. It's been a tough season overall for K-State after dropping four of five to open the Big 12 schedule and plummeting out of the national rankings. Pullen is at the head of a capable offense, averaging 18.2 points per game and a team-best 3.7 assists. Rodney McGruder posts a solid 11.0 points and a team-leading 6.5 rebounds per contest. Both he and Pullen don't shy away from taking threes, with McGruder dropping a team-high 52 on 40.6 percent shooting and Pullen adding 44. Curtis Kelly and Jamar Samuels are on the brink of double figures at 9.9 and 9.6 points, respectively. Both add significant weight to the rebounding game as well, with 4.9 and 5.6 boards, respectively. Overall, the Wildcats put up 73.5 points per game but on only 43.5 percent shooting. A lowly 61.5 percent showing from the free throw line hasn't helped matters. The defense does a decent job of holding the competition to 42.2 percent shooting and 66.0 points per game.

The Buffaloes have tremendous depth and ability on the offensive side of the ball led by Burks' 20.0 points per game to pair with a solid 5.9 rebounds. Higgins puts in 16.2 points per contest, while Marcus Relphorde and Levi Knutson give the Buffs four legit double-digit scoring options at 11.5 and 11.1 points, respectively. Knutson tops the roster with 49 three-pointers, connecting at a crisp 48.5-percent rate. Austin Dufault adds still further depth with 8.1 points and 4.5 boards per game. Andre Roberson's 7.4 rebounds leads the club. Overall, Colorado pours in 80.8 points on average and connects on 47.3 percent of its field goals. The defense, while not terrific, can make the number stand up by holding opponents to 72.4 points and 44.8 percent shooting. The Buffs own a decent margin on the glass as well, averaging 35.9 rebounds compared to 32.3 against.

This is most likely a make it or break it game for both clubs standing at four wins apiece in conference play. K-State has revenge on its mind, as CU was one of the teams responsible for its slip out of the top-25, and aside from an embarrassing loss to a formidable Kansas team the Wildcats have posted strong wins over ISU, Nebraska and Baylor in the last four games.

GAME NOTES: The Colorado Buffaloes play host to the Kansas State Wildcats Saturday at the Coors Events Center as a pair of inconsistent teams look to take a step forward in a tightly-bunched Big 12 Conference.

FACTS & STATS: Coors Events Center (11,064) -- Boulder, Colorado. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Kansas State 12-2, Colorado 12-2. Away Record: Kansas State 3-4, Colorado 2-7. Neutral Record: Kansas State 1-2, Colorado 1-1. Conference Record: Kansas State 4-5, Colorado 4-6. Series Record: Kansas State leads, 96-45.

Saturday, February 12th, 9:00 p.m. (et)

Kansas State 82, Colorado 80