After a thrilling finish to end regulation, Colorado men’s basketball (15-10, 4-6 Big 12) was unable to overcome the visiting Texas A&M Aggies (18-5, 5-4 Big 12) in overtime in front of a packed house of 7,517 at the Coors Events Center. Poor shot selection, rebounding woes (CU had 29 to A&M’s 40) and an inability to execute down the stretch cost the Buffs their second straight game against a ranked opponent.
Coming out of the gate, the Buffs displayed their ability to keep stride with the Aggies, edging them out 28-26 in the first half. The Buffs shot well, shooting 47.8 percent from the floor and a superb 50 percent from behind the arc. The back and forth play was similar to two boxers going blow for blow, hoping that the other would cave in eventually.
It was in the second half that the Buffs showed signs of struggling against the relentless Aggies. The Aggies defense managed to limit the Buffs to shooting only 37 percent from the field while they themselves shot over 46 percent. Nonetheless, the Buffs kept the game close until the closing moments where they took the lead with under 11 seconds to go.
Aggies guard B.J. Holmes managed to find open space on an inbound pass and scored the game-tying 3 to close regulation.
It was exactly what Head Coach Mark Turgeon said he wanted.
“[The play was] just like he drew it up,” Turgeon said.
Despite keeping pace with the Aggies during regulation, the Buffs did not finish the job with the game on the line. As a team, they shot a disappointing 3-12 from the floor. Even after a slight resurgence in the end, they were unable to knock down the game-tying shot as the clock wound down.
Senior guard Levi Knutson said he blamed himself for the final miss.
“”I thought I [made the shot] at first, but the ball slipped,” Knutson said.
Senior guard Cory Higgins and sophomore guard Alec Burks finished the game with 19 and 24 points, respectively.
Buffs Head Coach Tad Boyle said he blames himself for the final loss.
“[We] played well enough to win the game, but couldn’t execute down the stretch,” Boyle said. “This loss is on my shoulders. No one to blame but myself. This will be with me for a long, long time.”
The Buffs will try to recover from the defeat Saturday at 7 p.m. against Kansas State at the Coors Events Center.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Shay Knolle at Shay.firstname.lastname@example.org.