CONWAY, SC — Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes have developed an interesting pattern this year – losing when favored and then knocking out a ranked team in their next game.
The Buffs completed the pattern for the second time this young season on Friday, rebounding from an opening loss to UMass in the Myrtle Beach Invitational to earn a 103-75 win over No. 24 Texas A&M in the consolation round.
The Buffaloes capitalized on a career-best 30 points before the guard KJ Simpson improve to 3-2 with the win while the Aggies fell to 2-2.
CU’s win over the Aggies came just five days after CU’s 78-66 win over No. 11 Tennessee — which followed a surprise loss to Grambling State.
The Buffs were once again a different team from the squad that lost their previous game.
CU jumped on the Aggies early and never let up, building a 54-33 lead at the break and building the cushion up to 33 in the second half. CU had 10 3-pointers in the first half after ending the entire game against UMass with just six points, and also had 14 assists in the opening period.
Simpson was one of four buffs in double figures, shooting 11-for-17 from the floor (4-for-8 from a 3-point range) to finish with 30 points, seven rebounds, six steals and three assists. Ethan Wright Added 15 points – all on 3-pointers – during Javon Ruffin had 14 points and Nique Clifford chipped 11.
HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado used a 15-2 run midway through the second half to take control. Ethan Wright started the surge with his first of two 3-pointers and KJ Simpson had seven points in the run as Colorado turned a 14-12 deficit into a 27-16 lead 8-24 to play in the half.
The Buffs continued to extend the lead for the rest of the half, increasing the lead to as much as 24 points. CU hit six 3-pointers in the last five minutes of the third Javon Ruffin, Jalen Gabbidon, Nique CliffordSimpson and Wright are all delivering remotely.
Wright’s third 3-pointer of the half gave Colorado a 24-point lead before the Aggies hit a three with 25 seconds left to cut the Buffs’ lead to 54-33 at the break.
Colorado shot 18-31 from the ground in the first half, including a 10-19 from long range. The Buffs ended the first period with 14 assists, with five different Buffs having at least two.
Colorado’s defense, meanwhile, pinned the Aggies in a 10-on-28 shooting and the Buffs also had a 19-11 lead on the boards.
The buffs didn’t let up in the second half either. Colorado extended their lead to 30 midway through the period and never let the Aggies mount anything resembling a serious comeback on the track.
TURNING POINT: Colorado was down 14-12 early but used a 15-2 run to take a 27-16 lead, then extended the lead to 13 two minutes later and the Aggies never closed the gap back to single digits.
NEXT UP: The Buffs play the fifth-place game at 5 p.m. Sunday
Contact: Neill.W[email protected]Colorado.edu