No. 19 Aggies Stop No. 25 Colorado
BOULDER - Jackie McFarland had 24 points and Brittany Spears had a double-double but it wasn't enough as No. 19 Texas A&M defeated No. 25 Colorado Wednesday night at the Coors Events/Conference Center.
Danielle Gant scored 24 points and Takia Starks added 18 for the Aggies (13-4, 1-2), who avoided their first 0-3 Big 12 start since the 2003-04 season.
McFarland, who became the fifth player in CU history to register 1,600 career points (she now has 1,614), hit 8-of-13 from the field and made 8-of-12 from the free-throw line while also grabbing nine rebounds and blocking two shots. Spears had 11 points and a personal-best 12 rebounds for her third career double-double.
Colorado (12-4, 1-2) led for most of the game before Morenike Atunrase's only basket of the night gave Texas A&M the lead for good, 66-64, with 1:35 left. A'Quonesia Franklin hit six free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the win for the Aggies.
"(Our team) executed everything we asked them to, and the outcome was within our control," CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said. "We just didn't finish the game. We didn't rebound at the end and we didn't make our free throws. We have to learn to play with the lead, this is two games in a row that we were up by a lot in the second half and lost it. That is a sign of immaturity and I think a result of how much we've had to play from behind these last two years. We are tough as nails when we're playing from behind but we are a different team with the lead and I don't want to see that again. We had some great individual performances but we have no one to blame but ourselves for the loss."
Starks hit a 3-pointer with 4:22 left to give Texas A&M a 58-57 advantage, their first lead since hitting the first basket of the game. Starks extended the lead to three with another basket, but Colorado took the lead back on two free throws each from McFarland and Spears.
Colorado led 50-41 midway through the second half when the Aggies rallied. Starks hit two buckets, Sydney Colson had a steal and a layup and Gant had four points to pull the Aggies within 55-54 with 6:16 left.
Earlier in the half, Texas A&M had cut Colorado's lead to 36-34 with 16:51 left, and the Buffaloes responded. Sophomore Bianca Smith hit two 3-pointers and McFarland and Aija Putnina hit two free throws each to stretch the advantage to 46-37 with 14:43 left.
The Aggies stayed within striking distance in the first half despite poor shooting and a 15-2 disadvantage in free-throw attempts. Texas A&M, which came into the game shooting 40 percent from the field, shot just 33 percent in the first 20 minutes, and leading scorer Takia Starks was 2-for-9 from the field.
The Buffaloes weren't much better from the field, hitting just 37.9 percent of their shots and were 1-for-13 from behind the 3-point line. They held a 32-28 lead at the break thanks to an advantage from the line. Colorado was in the bonus with 13:32 left in the half and outscored the Aggies 9-1 from the stripe.
Colorado held a 36-18 advantage in free-throw attempts for the game.
Putnina narrowly missed a double-double of her own with 10 points and nine rebounds. Susie Powers had seven assists, three rebounds and two steals.