Burks, Colorado take down No. 9 TigersJan 9, 2011 - 12:11 AM Boulder, CO (Sports Network) - Alec Burks scored a career-high 36 points as Colorado took down No. 9 Missouri, 89-76, in the Big 12 conference opener for both schools at Coors Events Center.
Cory Higgins notched his third-career double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Levi Knutson scored 13 and Austin Dufault added 12 points for the Buffaloes (12-4, 1-0 Big 12), who had not won a conference opener since the 1997-98 season.
"It is a great win for our program to beat a top ten team," Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. "I'm really proud of our guys, really proud."
This was the final Big 12 conference opener for Colorado, which will join the newly-expanded Pac 12 conference next season.
Michael Dixon led the Tigers (14-2, 0-1) with 17 points. Laurence Bowers added 15 points to go along with seven rebounds and Marcus Denmon scored 14 for Missouri, which had won nine straight since its only other loss of the season, a 111-102 overtime setback to Georgetown on November 30.
Missouri had won eight straight in this series.
Colorado led 46-34 at the half. Burks and Dufault scored 20 and 10 points, respectively, in the opening 20 minutes, including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc for Burks.
"We didn't do a good job defensively, and I think that showed early on," Missouri coach Mike Anderson said.
The Colorado lead reached 18, 58-40, with a pair of Burks free throws at 16:18. However, a Bowers free throw at 9:04 started a 10-2 Missouri run, that Dixon capped with four from the line, to trim its deficit to 71-62 with 6 1/2 remaining.
Missouri got as close as 79-72 with a Denmon layup and three-point conversion just over the two minutes mark, but the Buffaloes responded with five straight points, capped by a Marcus Relphorde layup, to put the lead back to double- digits.
Missouri holds a 95-55 advantage in this all-time series...Ricardo Ratliffe finished with 11 points and eight boards for the Tigers...The Buffaloes have won five straight...This is the first time since 2003 that Colorado has beaten a top-10 ranked opponent (Kansas and Texas).
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