Colorado 53

(20-9, 9-7 Big 12)

Texas A&M 86

(21-7, 10-6 Big 12)

3:00 PM ET, March 10, 2006

American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

1 2 T
COLO 24 2953
TA&M 38 4886

Top Performers

Colorado: M. Freeman 10 Pts, 3 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

Texas A&M: J. Jones 21 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

Aggies crush Buffs for first ever Big 12 tourney win

DALLAS (AP) -- Texas A&M finally got to play a Friday game in the Big 12 tournament.

The Aggies were so good at it that they will get to find out what it's like to play on the weekend.

"Today was one of those magical days where everything went right for us," said Aggies' coach Billy Gillispie, who has led the Aggies to 21 wins in both of his seasons. 'I know for a fact we haven't played better than this in two years."

Joseph Jones had 21 points and Josh Carter 15, including four of Texas A&M's season-high 12 3-pointers, and the Aggies won in the Big 12 tournament for the first time, beating Colorado 86-53 in the quarterfinals.

"I'm like speechless ... to finally get a Big 12 tournament win," Acie Law said.

Texas A&M (21-7) had never played on the second day of the Big 12 tournament, having lost on the opening day nine straight years before getting a first-round bye as the No. 4 seed this year.

Now the Aggies are in the semifinals, in a rematch Saturday against No. 8 Texas (26-5) that comes 10 days after Law hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer in a 46-43 victory over the Longhorns.

"They're going to be motivated after what happened," Law said.

"We lucked out last week, but it was a magical win," Gillispie said. "It's a great program capable of winning the championship this year. We have to muster enough to be as competitive as we can."

Or just repeat their performance from Friday.

The Aggies finished with their biggest margin of victory ever in a postseason game. It was their first conference tournament victory since beating Texas Tech in the 1994 Southwest Conference semifinals.

In what might have been an NCAA elimination game, Colorado (20-9) was only 18-of-60 shooting and never in the game after jumping out to a quick 9-2 lead.

The Buffaloes will have to wait until Sunday to find out if they get into the 65-team NCAA field for first time since 2003. They've been twice under coach Ricardo Patton, the first in 1997 at the end of his first full season.

"If we don't go, I don't know that it will be because of this one loss," Patton said. "But I still think that we're a viable candidate."

Since a five-game winning streak to end January, when they were 15-3, the Buffaloes have gone 5-6. All the losses were on the road, and five were by double figures.

Jayson Obazuaye and Richard Roby had 12 points each for Colorado. Roby, an All-Big 12 pick as a sophomore on a team with 10 seniors, was a season-worst 3-of-18 shooting.

With the way the game began, it looked as if the Aggies might extend their dubious postseason streak. Then they started hitting long-range shots.

"As we made 3s, our confidence grew," Gillispie said.

The Aggies trailed until Carter's first 3-pointer made it 13-11 with 10:46 left in the first half. They never trailed again and went on to their biggest margin of victory in a postseason game.

After Roby missed, Carter made another 3-pointer while being fouled and added the free throw.

Even when Colorado extended its defensive pressure beyond the arc, and the shot clock was running down, Law made a long 3-pointer. The shot clock was nearing zero again on the next possession when Dominique Kirk hit, pushing the Aggies ahead 23-13.

Those four 3-pointers were part of a 23-2 spurt that ended when Jones made a tough baseline jumper while being fouled. He missed the free throw, but it was still 29-13 with 5 minutes left.

"I thought they made big shots all game long .... Not just the early flurry, but just the continuation of making shots," Patton said.

Jones didn't have any of the 3-pointers, but was 8-of-10 shooting.

The Aggies led 38-24 at halftime, then opened the second half with Jones making a layup and then a free throw after being fouled. Colorado never got closer than 14 points after that, and trailed by at least 20 the final 12 minutes after Carter hit another 3-pointer to make it 53-33.

After Colorado struggled to beat 12th-seeded Baylor 65-61 in the opening round Thursday, Chris Copeland had a 3-pointer and a layup in the opening 9-2 spurt against Texas A&M. The team's second-leading scorer behind Roby didn't score again, missing his last nine shots.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 53 86
FG Made-Attempted 18-60 (.300) 26-47 (.553)
3P Made-Attempted 4-25 (.160) 12-21 (.571)
FT Made-Attempted 13-21 (.619) 22-31 (.710)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 21 (0/0)
Largest Lead 7 35

2005-06 Season

Feb 8, 2006 @TA&M 61, COLO 58Recap
» Mar 10, 2006 @TA&M 86, COLO 53Recap