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March 1, 2006
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LAWRENCE, Kan. ? Mario Chalmers hit two key 3-pointers in the second half and No. 18 Kansas beat Colorado 75-54 on Wednesday night to move back into a tie with No. 6 Texas for first place in the Big 12.
The Jayhawks (21-7, 12-3), who have beaten Colorado 34 times in their last 35 meetings, had their 10-game winning streak snapped on Saturday in an 80-55 loss at Texas. But Texas A&M upset the Longhorns 46-43 at the same time Kansas was beating the Buffs.
Kansas ends its regular season at Kansas State on Saturday, while Texas hosts No. 19 Oklahoma on Sunday.
The first half could hardly have been more embarrassing for the Buffs (18-8, 8-7), who started the night tied with Texas A&M for fourth place and for possibly for the league's fourth bid to the NCAA tournament.
But facing Kansas, the nation's leader in field goal percentage defense, they missed 22 of their first 23 field goal attempts until Scott Senger got inside for a layup with 1:47 left in the first half.
That made it 27-9 and Colorado then ended the half on a spurt, making three baskets to shoot 19 percent (5-for-27) and trail 32-15.
Kansas, outrebounded all night, went cold in the second half and Colorado crept within 58-50 on a basket by Julius Ashby.
Chalmers then hit a 3-pointer and a moment later Julian Wright, another freshman starter, hit two free throws and thundered home a crowd-pleasing dunk. C.J. Giles then got another basket and Brandon Rush made it 70-54 with a 3-pointer from the wing.
Chalmers had 14 points and Rush added 13 for Kansas, which got outrebounded 45-38 and was only 10-of-22 from the free throw line. Giles had 11 points and Russell Robinson 10.
Colorado, which fell to fell to 0-23 against ranked opponents on the road, got 12 points from Marcus Hall. Colorado's Richard Roby, the fifth-leading scorer in the Big 12, had only two points in the first half and finished with 10, almost eight below his average.
Max Falkenstein, who is retiring after 60 years broadcasting Kansas football and basketball games, was honored at halftime of his last home game.For more coverage of the Kansas Jayhawks, check out JayhawkSlant.com.
For more coverage of the Colorado Buffaloes, check out BuffStampede.com.