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
"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
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
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
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.
With the way the game began, it looked as if the Aggies might
extend their dubious postseason streak. Then they started hitting
"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
Jones didn't have any of the 3-pointers, but was 8-of-10
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.