Texas A&M 92, Colorado 77

<A HREF=[PlayerNode:1601026]>Chauncey Billups</A> played just two years of college basketball. His friend <A HREF=[PlayerNode:1607885]>Kevin Garnett</A> never played any college ball. Both NBA stars were at Coors Events Center Saturday to watch the Buffs take on <A HREF=http://tamu.Scout.com>Texas A&M</A>. Colorado could have used a few minutes of their services as the Aggies pasted CU 92-77.

Texas A&M exposed and took advantage of CU's two biggest weaknesses — CU's poor interior defense and its streaky offense.

The Aggies came into the game giving up a Big 12 fewest 61.5 points per game. The Buffs didn't match TAMU's defensive intensity and gave up an alarming 28 points in the paint in the opening 20 minutes, while shooting just 35 percent from the field. The Aggies blistered the Buffs for 71 percent.

"They were getting a lot of open shots," said CU forward Andy Osborn. "We weren't blocking out and we were giving them second shots. Usually, second shots go in."

Colorado played so poorly in the first half that fans in the student section gave the team around of boos at a time out with 8:16 to go in the period. The time out — called by CU coach Ricardo Patton — came after the Aggies had a 15-0 run at that point.

Texas A&M scored three more points before Colorado finally stopped the run. But Colorado's interior defense continued to be almost non-existent, and the Buffs trailed 51-33 at the break.

In the second half, Texas A&M built its lead to as many as 23 points. CU freshman Richard Roby sparked a late Colorado run, scoring 10 straight points and cutting the TAMU lead to 12. Moments later, Roby cut the lead to eight on a breakaway jam. But the Aggies made clutch shots in the final two minutes to preserve the win.

"Obviously, not much defense was being played (by CU)," head coach Ricardo Patton said. "I think the better team won."

The better team outrebounded Colorado 37-24, as well.

Schoolboy friends Antoine Wright (32 points) and Roby (21) led their teams in scoring.

The loss was a crucial blow for CU in terms of conference standings. They fell to 4-8 in conference play, while Texas A&M climbed to 5-6. CU is now tied for seventh place in the league. They play at Missouri Tuesday.

STATS LEADERS
Colorado
Points: Richard Roby 21, Andy Osborn 16
Rebounds: Julius Ashby 6
Assists: Marcus Hall 4
Turnovers: Ashby 3, Roby 3
Blocks: Marcus King-Stockton 2
Steals: Roby 3

Texas A&M
Points: Antoine Wright 32, Joseph Jones 16
Rebounds: Jones 8
Assists: Bobby Leach 5
Turnovers: Wright 4
Blocks: three tied with 1

Celebrity Sightings
Former Buffalo Chauncey Billups was honored at halftime Saturday. A banner bearing his No. 4 was hung from the rafters. Former Buff greats Burdie Haldorson, Cliff Meely, Lisa Van Goor and Bridget Turner (all of whom have their jerseys hanging at the Coors Events Center) were also on hand for the ceremony. … Former Buffalo Poncho Hodges got some love Saturday. Hodges is currently pursuing an acting career and recently appeared in an episode of television's "Law and Order." He was courtside Saturday and drew applause when he was announced. …Also in the house was Minnesota Timberwolves' center Kevin Garnett, who accompanied Billups to the game. …Patton received a technical foul late in the game, his first of the season. He said afterwards that he told the refs he thought the refs were cheating, and that's what drew the technical. Patton didn't elaborate on how he thought the officials were cheating. One thing was obvious, the team of referees were calling the game tighter than most games at Coors this season. Texas A&M ended with 26 fouls, while CU was whistled for 22.


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