<
>

Colorado 75, Richmond 69

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Chris Copeland made his homecoming one to
remember, having a career night with about 50 family and friends
watching.

Copeland scored a career-high 25 points in his return to the
city where he played high school ball, including several key shots
as Colorado withstood every run in the second half and beat
Richmond 75-69.

Copeland, a product of Hermitage High School in the city's
suburbs, was nervous beforehand, but didn't show it. He made 10 of
15 shots and four 3-pointers, including a leaning, fall-away heave
with 3:53 left, all but cinching the win for Colorado (8-3) after
Richmond got within four.

"We just banded together as a team," he said. "Coach drew up
some stuff to get us some easy baskets. ... We knew it was crunch
time."

The Spiders (5-6), whose rally to within one with 10:33 left was
answered immediately by a 7-0 Colorado run, had closed to 60-56
with 4:49 left, but Richard Roby hit a 10-footer and Copeland beat
the shot clock with his off-balance shot from the right wing to
rebuild the lead.

Coming off an embarrassing 80-48 loss to Utah, Colorado won
despite shooting just 14-for-30 from the free throw line. The
Buffaloes also avenged a 75-52 loss to the Spiders in Boulder,
Colo., last season.

"After Utah, a lot of people looked at us like this team isn't
going to be worth anything," said Copeland, a junior whose
previous high was 17. "We wanted to show people in this game that
we are a good team."

Copeland's big night was a welcome surprise to coach Ricardo
Patton.

"I haven't taken many guys home before that actually played
well, but he did a nice job," Patton said. "He was nervous before
the game."

Roby added 18 points and Jayson Obazuaye 16 for the Buffaloes,
who shot 56 percent from the field against the normally stingy
Spiders.

Patrick O'Malley hit five 3-pointers and tied his career high
with 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting for Richmond. Jamaal Scott
added 12 points, hitting 5 of 8 shots, and the rest of the team
made just 13 of 42 shots.

"We didn't have any life," Spiders coach Jerry Wainwright
said, adding that he and many of the players have been battling
illness this week.

"We just didn't have any bounce in our step and you need that
against an athletic team, especially a team that got off to such a
good start."

Copeland's improbable 3-pointer was the "final nail," he said,
and the Buffaloes' 7-0 run after Richmond got within 46-45 also
hurt a lot.

"We're not real resilient right now," Wainwright said. "It
took a long time to blow up that balloon, but it deflated pretty
quickly."

The Buffaloes led 38-32 at halftime after shooting 63 percent
and going on a Copeland-led 14-4 run midway through the half.
Copeland started the burst with a basket and a 3-pointer and added
two 12-footers later.