Thursday, January 23, 2003

Colorado 60, No. 6 Kansas 59



BOULDER, Colo. - Stephane Pelle had it calculated almost to the day.

"We hadn't beaten Kansas in something like 11 years and 11 months," Pelle said. "To do what people say is impossible is great."

Pelle scored 27 points, including the short jumper with 25 seconds left that gave Colorado a 60-59 upset of No. 6 Kansas on Wednesday night, snapping the Buffaloes' 27-game losing streak to the Jayhawks.

Colorado (12-5, 2-2 Big 12), which hadn't beaten Kansas since Feb. 20, 1991, also got 17 points from Michel Morandais and five points and 11 rebounds from David Harrison.

Kansas (13-4, 3-1) shot 33 percent in having its 10-game winning streak end, as well as its Big 12 record of 23 straight regular-season conference wins. Nick Collison had 16 points for the Jayhawks, while Keith Langford added 14 and Kirk Hinrich 10.

Kansas took a 53-50 lead with 6:38 remaining after a 9-0 run, and the Jayhawks were still up 57-53 with 3:17 left.

But the Buffs outscored Kansas 7-2 the rest of the way.

Pelle hit a 14-foot jumper and Morandais followed with a long jumper just inside the 3-point line to make it 57-57 with 2:28 to go.

Freshman Chris Copeland made one free throw to give Colorado its first lead in over seven minutes. Kansas' Michael Lee made both ends of a 1-on-1 with 39 seconds left to put the Jayhawks up 59-58.

Pelle then hit the 12-footer over Lee for the clincher.

"I wanted to score," Pelle said. "I took the ball - determined, ready and expecting to score. I was so confident with it, and it just went in.

"The play was designed for Michel to get the ball and drive to the hoop. Michel passed it to Blair (Wilson), and he passed it to me. I'm wide open, so I'm going to go."

Pelle scored 15 points in the second half despite having three fouls at halftime.

"I stayed aggressive all game," he said. "I didn't want them to step up and me step down. The only way to beat Kansas is to outmatch their effort, and we did."

Lee missed a shot in the closing seconds, and Hinrich's rebound attempt was thwarted, causing Jayhawks coach Roy Williams to charge after the officials, appealing for a foul. But officials signaled the game was over, and Colorado fans then stormed the court.

Colorado shot 48 percent to help overcome 19 turnovers, 14 in the first half.

"We needed one stop and we couldn't get one stop," Williams said. "The officials didn't lose the game for us. I thought Kirk was fouled, but that's just me.

"Colorado made the plays, not us. They were into it, emotionally and mentally. We took some bad shots and were very impatient. We didn't execute worth a darn."

Colorado coach Ricardo Patton said his players "really worked hard for this. It has certainly been a long time" since beating KU.

Pelle made a layup and Blair Wilson hit a 3-pointer in the first minute of the game to give Colorado a 5-0 lead.

Kansas erased that with a 9-0 run, including Hinrich's layup after teammate Aaron Miles tipped a careless Colorado pass.

The Buffaloes countered with a 13-2 run, including six points by Pelle and five by Morandais, to take a 22-17 lead midway through the first half.

Langford hit two baskets as Kansas went ahead 23-22. Langford's three-point play and Hinrich's 3-pointer gave the Jayhawks a 32-29 halftime lead.

Kansas endured a shooting slump in the second half, missing 10 straight shots and going 8:18 without a field goal as Colorado took a 50-44 lead.

Collison and Langford combined on the 9-0 spurt that gave Kansas a 53-50 lead.




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