Archive for Thursday, January 23, 2003

CU’s Harrison smiling now

January 23, 2003


— Frustrated three times as a freshman, Colorado's David Harrison was a smiling sophomore on Wednesday night.

"This one feels great," Harrison said after CU's 60-59 victory over Kansas University at the Coors Events Center. "I can't really describe how I feel."

Last year, Harrison described how he felt in no uncertain terms, ripping the Jayhawks in general and Drew Gooden in particular.

Three times the Buffs played Kansas last season and three times the Jayhawks won handily. Not this time.

"I was walking on campus today and saw all these people with Kansas stuff on," Harrison said, "and they said they were gonna kick our butts."

Curiously, Harrison wasn't a scoring factor with only five points in 35 minutes, but the 7-footer did snatch a game-high 11 rebounds. Twice, too, he reinjured his back, once going to the floor. He also limped to the locker room just before halftime.

"My back was flaring up," Harrison said, "but this was too important a game, so I just gritted my teeth and decided I could be injured tomorrow. I couldn't jump, but I knew I could block out and rebound."

While Harrison gritted, teammate Stephane Pelle gutted the Jayhawks with 27 points -- 17 more than his average. Pelle was coming off a real stinkeroo. He had only four points while playing 36 minutes in Saturday's 80-77 overtime loss at Nebraska.

"The coaches said they were disappointed in a lot of people after Nebraska," Pelle said, "especially me."

Pelle took only four shots in Lincoln, Neb., making two. Against Kansas, however, the 6-foot-8 forward, known mostly as a rebounder, took 16 shots and made 10 of them -- including the game-winning 12-foot jump shot with 25 seconds remaining.

"I took the ball determined," Pelle said of that last shot. "I expected to score. I just pulled up and I was just so confident."

Not surprisingly, Harrison gushed about Pelle's performance.

"Tonight that was hands down the best game I've seen him play," Harrison said. "I couldn't score to save my life, but he came through."

CU coach Ricardo Patton, who was 0-16 against Kansas, declined to call his first triumph over the Jayhawks the biggest win of his career.

"When I get a chance to catch my breath," Patton said, "I may put it in a high place. Right now I'm really excited for the kids.

"I've been on my knees all day giving thanks to God and wondering why we haven't had success for as hard as we've worked. So I put it in God's hands."

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