CONWAY, S.C. (AP) — KJ Simpson had career-highs of 30 points and six steals and Colorado beat No. 24 Texas A&M 103-75 on Friday at the Myrtle Beach Invitational.
It was the second ranked opponent Colorado (3-2) has beaten in a five-day span after topping then-No. 11 Tennessee 78-66 on Sunday. But the Buffaloes have yet to string back-to-back wins together after falling to UMass in a tournament opener.
“I feel like one thing we’re good at, you never want to lose two in a row,” Simpson said. “Obviously you want to win every game but that’s a really a big key. At this point, we don’t want to learn that way. We want to be consistent and play the same way no matter the competition. We handled adversity well.”
Simpson’s sixth steal led to a fast-break dunk with 1:18 left. He was subbed out after making 11-of-17 shots, including four 3-pointers, and grabbing seven rebounds.
Colorado made just six 3-pointers on 25 attempts against UMass on Thursday. But the Buffaloes responded by going 16 of 32 from distance against Texas A&M, with five makes by Ethan Wright.
“Look, I told the team afterward in the locker room ‘Great bounce-back win, but I’m tired of bounce-back wins,’” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “We wanted to start building on wins this year.”
Wright finished with 15 points, missing just one shot, Javon Ruffin added 14 points and Nique Clifford had 11 for Colorado (3-2). Simpson’s previous high was 23 points.
Colorado led 54-33 at halftime behind 10-of-19 shooting from 3-point range and Simpson’s 14 points. Texas A&M only made 10 field goals in the first half.
Hayden Hefner scored 13 points for Texas A&M (2-2). Solomon Washington and Julius Marble each added 12 points. Wade Taylor IV, who entered averaging 18.3 points per game, was held to six points on 1-for-8 shooting.
“We had not near enough competitive character,” Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams said. “We gave up 88 points yesterday, Murray State shot 50% from the field. Today 103 points, Colorado shot 58% from the field. What we want to be about and what we want our identity to be about and what we’ve practiced before we came here has not been evident since we’ve been here.”
Both teams have the day off on Saturday before the placing games on Sunday. Texas A&M will try to snap a two-game losing streak after making its first appearance this week in The Associated Press Top 25 since Jan. 1, 2017.
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