Aggies Pull Away From Buffs In Defensive Struggle
BOULDER - Defense was on center stage Tuesday night, and Colorado nearly stole the show.
The Buffaloes, who had allowed nearly 80 points per game in their first six Big 12 Conference contests, held Texas A&M to just 55, the lowest total for a Big 12 opponent against CU in over a year. However, the best defensive team in the Big 12 showed up too.
Texas A&M used a late 16-6 run to pull away from Colorado and escape with its first-ever win in Boulder, 55-46, Tuesday night at the Coors Events/Conference Center.
The Aggies (16-4, 5-2 Big 12) lived up to their defensive reputation forcing 25 CU turnovers, right on their season average, and limiting the Buffaloes to just 12 field goals and 32 percent shooting. But the Texas A&M offense struggled as well as Colorado (6-13, 1-6 Big 12) matched the Aggies' defensive effort.
CU held Texas A&M to just 35 percent from the field (21-of-60) and held a commanding 45-32 edge in rebounds.
Colorado sophomore point guard Yari Escalera led all players with 15 points and her 3-point field goal with 7:01 remaining in the contest gave the Buffaloes their first lead of the game at 40-39. Texas A&M came right back and got a 3-point play from La Toya Micheaux and back-to-back buckets by Patrice Reado and Takia Starks put the Aggies back up by six at 46-40.
Jackie McFarland answered for CU with a layup and a free throw to pull the Buffs back to within three (46-43) with 1:44 left. After Starks sank another field goal, the Aggies put the ball in the hands of guard A'Quonesia Franklin who iced the game at the foul-line hitting 5-of-6 in the final 49 seconds.
Colorado, which entered the game as the best free-throw shooting team in the Big 12 at 74 percent, hit just 12-of-20 in the second half, and was 67 percent for the game (20-of-30).
McFarland finished with 13 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Junior Anna Nedovic had eight rebounds for the second-straight game to go along with six points and two assists. Escalera added five rebounds and three assists to her 15 points.
Colorado will continue Big 12 play on Saturday, Jan. 28, as the Buffaloes face Nebraska at 6 p.m. MST in Lincoln.