Scores

Final

Colorado 75

(8-3, 2-3 away)

Richmond 69

(5-6, 3-1 home)

    6:00 PM ET, January 4, 2005

    Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia

    1 2 T
    COLO 31 4475
    RICH 32 3769

    Top Performers

    Colorado: C. Copeland 25 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Blk

    Richmond: P. O'Malley 20 Pts, 2 Reb, 1 Ast

    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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    COLO
    RICH
    Points 75 69
    FG Made-Attempted 28-50 (.560) 25-62 (.403)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-11 (.455) 7-27 (.259)
    FT Made-Attempted 14-30 (.467) 12-17 (.706)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 22 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 9 1

    2004-05 Season

    DATEGAMELINKS
    » Jan 4, 2005 COLO 75, @RICH 69Recap