Fifth place in the eight-team Maui Invitational comes down to Notre Dame and Texas A&M on Wednesday night in Las Vegas, after both teams won Tuesday.
The Aggies got 15 points and five steals from Quenton Jackson, marking his fifth consecutive game with at least 13 points, and held on for a 57-50 win over Butler.
Texas A&M (5-1) led by 12 points at halftime but by just three with 27 seconds to play. The Aggies’ Marcus Williams added a pair of free throws to expand the lead to five, and Texas A&M clinched the win thanks to two free throws by Jackson with three seconds left.
Henry Coleman III pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds for the Aggies, who are 5-1 for the second season in a row under third-year coach Buzz Williams.
“I felt I stepped up as a leader, not just in scoring, but responding when things don’t go our way,” Jackson said, according to TexAgs.com. “It’s figuring out different ways to help this team — whether that be scoring, playing defense, getting rebounds, creating turnovers. Whatever it takes.”
Notre Dame (3-1) trailed by four twice in the first half against Division II Chaminade but used a 21-0 run over the first seven minutes of the second half to seize control of the game.
Dane Goodwin had nine of those 21 points, and he led Notre Dame with 17 for the game. Five other Irish players scored in double figures, including Nate Laszewski, who tallied 15 points and 15 rebounds.
Notre Dame had a 43-32 edge in rebounding and 46-22 advantage in points in the paint. The Irish also knocked down 12 of 26 3-point attempts.
“They shot the heck out of it, and I just thought we were more poised offensively than the night before and that was an area we talked about growing,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “So I told them in the locker room, ‘Let’s get out of this city 2-1. Only one team leaves 3-0 in these (events). … You can escape 2-1 and you have a chance to beat a SEC team in Texas A&M, so we’ll go back and prepare.”
The Irish are 7-4 all-time in the Maui Invitational, with one runner-up result (2008) and one event title (2017). The Aggies went 1-2 in their lone previous appearance in the tournament, in 1994.
–Field Level Media