No. 24 Texas A&M and Colorado will face off as expected in the second round of the Myrtle Beach Invitational in Conway, SC on Friday
What they didn’t expect is that they will meet in a consolation match in the eight-team tournament.
The Aggies (2-1) fell into the losers bracket with an 88-79 loss to Murray State in Thursday’s opening round. Colorado fell 66-63 to UMass.
Texas A&M’s loss was probably the most surprising, considering the Aggies are ranked and had won their first two games by an average of 26 points.
The Aggies were seven points behind the Racers after a snappy first 20 minutes at the break and were as much as 15 points behind at the start of the second half. Texas A&M fought back at 7:19 to 62-60 but couldn’t get any closer as Murray State was strong on the track.
Tyrece Radford led Texas A&M with 19 points, thanks in part to a 10-for-10 performance from the free throw line. Wade Taylor IV added 16 points, Manny Obaseki 12 and Julius Marble 11.
“We got 17 rallies and 20 offensive rebounds,” said Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams. “We shot 21 balls more than they did. There are many good things we have done. We just didn’t do it enough from start to finish.”
Texas A&M won the rebound fight (42-37) and had point advantages on paint (40-28) and bank scoring (29-10), but was outplayed at 50 percent to 38 percent and made only six of his 27 attempts from beyond the ark.
“I assume that we will react accordingly,” said Williams. “I hate that it went like this. But at the same time we have to learn from it. But we have to learn from it immediately, right? Because we’re playing again in less than 24 hours.”
Colorado experienced disappointment after beating then-No. 1. 11 Tennessee 78-66 on Sunday in Nashville.
The Buffaloes (2-2) trailed UMass 37-34 after a 20-minute back-and-forth before falling eight points in the first minute of the second half.
Colorado went cold midway through the second half, missing nine straight shots from the floor while the Minutemen went on an 11-0 run. Still, the Buffaloes rallied within three points with 4:12 remaining.
Fighting at the free-throw line and another nearly three-minute goal drought eventually thwarted the Buffaloes’ comeback. With Colorado trailing by three with 6.5 seconds to go, KJ Simpson had two good looks at tying 3-pointers but missed both shots.
“Our guys are fighting. They’re coming back,” said Colorado coach Tad Boyle. “They scratch. They scratch. I like the competitiveness of our group. But we’re not good enough for 40 minutes.”
Tristan da Silva led Colorado in the loss with 17 points while Simpson had 13.
“We have to understand that there are a lot of good players in college basketball,” Boyle said. “I don’t care what league you’re talking about. If you are not ready to go, you will be beaten. This happened to us. We weren’t ready to go from the start. I do not know why.”
– Field level media