With 7:15 left to play Saturday night in Allen Fieldhouse, Sherron Collins canned a three-pointer from the top of the key that put Kansas University on top of Texas A&M; by eight and seemed like another crucial blow to the Aggies' hopes of a late comeback.
After swishing what would be his final made shot of the night, the freshman guard hardly could hold back the excitement and let it show with a grin.
Over the next five minutes, he committed a pair of turnovers, the second of which helped A&M; senior Acie Law continue his late one-man act, willing the Aggies to a 69-66 road victory and sole possession of the Big 12 lead.
In the end, Collins, KU's 5-foot-11 offensive dynamo, had to exchange the potential-hero card for another learning experience to be added on his freshman resume. Instead of talking about his eighth double-digit offensive performance in the last 10 games, he had to sing another sad song of reasoning.
"I think we relaxed," said Collins, who scored a team-high 18 points, including a trio of trifectas. "Yeah, I'm pretty upset. I mean, you're up 11 points, and all you've got to do is take care of the ball and, you know, just make stops, and that's something we didn't do, and they executed it late in the game."
Even though KU was limited to just four fast-break points on the night - still two more than Texas A&M; registered -Collins continued his recent routine of mixing deep swishes with acrobatic slashes to the rim.
And while Law carried A&M; during a 17-4 Aggie run to close out the game, Collins carried the Jayhawk offense for almost the entire game leading up to that point, with sophomores Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers struggling to find offensive rhythm.
"Teammates just found me when I was open, and I just knocked down the shots, but I mean it's really sour," Collins said. "I'd rather not score as many points as I did and still get the win."
Despite the disappointing finish, backcourt mate Russell Robinson wants to make sure Collins remembers that one player alone doesn't lose a game - especially a game in which KU lead by 11 points with nine minutes to play.
"Even with that turnover, we had a chance to win," the junior guard said. "Came down to one stop, and we couldn't get it, but Sherron's gotta not let that get him down, continue to play hard, and I think he'll be fine."
62-52KU's lead with 6:33 to play
17-4Texas A&M;'s game-closing run
42.1KU's field-goal percentage against the nation's best defense
34.9Opponents' field-goal percentage against A&M; coming in
46.3A&M;'s field-goal percentage against KU
37.6Opponents' field-goal percentage against KU coming in
1-31Big 12 South's record in Allen Fieldhouse
3Teams (KU, K-State, Texas) tied for second behind A&M; in the Big 12