Texas A&M rallies late to down Charleston 59-50
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy wasn’t exactly sure how his team would react after losing on a last-second tip-in to Dayton in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
He was pleased to find the response was toughness.
Peyton Allen had 14 points, Jalen Jones added 12 and Texas A&M rallied in the second half to slip past College of Charleston 59-50 in the consolation round Friday.
Kennedy said it was good to see how Allen and Green performed down the stretch after combining to score just two points in the loss to the Flyers.
”That was huge for us,” Kennedy said. ”We really got nothing out of those guys yesterday…They’re both starters. It’s good to see them both be resilient. We’ve got a good group of kids, and they’re resiliency paid off.”
The Aggies (2-1) trailed by five with more than eight minutes remaining before outscoring the Cougars 27-13 to end the game. Jordan Green had nine of his 11 points in the final four minutes.
Joe Chealey and Anthony Stitt had 10 points apiece to lead Charleston (1-3).
Stitt helped carry the Cougars offense for the second straight game, but had seven turnovers. It matched the seven turnovers in their opening loss to Connecticut.
The Cougars lost a lot of their inside presence and scoring with the pregame decision to sit big man Adjehi Baru. He was injured during a late-game collision in Charleston’s loss to Connecticut and limped off the court.
Charleston coach Earl Grant said it forced them to rely more on perimeter scoring.
”That really threw a last minute monkey wrench in our game plan,” Grant said.
After trailing for most of the second half, Texas A&M took a 39-37 lead on a dunk by Antwan Space with about 7 minutes to play. That cushion grew to 46-39 on a pair of free throws by Jordan Green, capping a 14-2 spurt.
The Aggies settled down, and twice cut the lead down to two. But five straight points by Green pushed the lead back up to six with about a minute left.
Charleston controlled the tempo in the first half and got production from its bench, which outscored Texas A&M’s reserves 12-2.
The Aggies also struggled shooting the ball, connecting on just 6 of their 23 field goal attempts, including 2 of 11 from beyond the arc.
Alex Caruso, who led Texas A&M with 17 in their opening game Thursday, was held to just three at the half. The Aggies big rebounder in that game – Kourtney Roberson – had only one in the opening 20 minutes against the Cougars, and two for the game.
Texas A&M: The Aggies shot 48 percent in the second half (12 for 25), after just a 6 for 24 (25 percent) effort in opening 20 minutes.
Charleston: Grant said he didn’t know that Baru wouldn’t be available until about two hours before tip-off. ”He said he was fine and trainer said he was fine. But he was sore and couldn’t go 100 percent,” Grant said. ”I just know he’s banged up right now and he’s sore.”
The NCAA told Texas A&M on Friday it approved the waiver for junior guard Danuel House to play this season.
House, a 6-foot-7 swingman, transferred from Houston after averaging 12.9 points and 5.1 rebounds. He shot 43.2 percent from the floor and 32.5 percent from 3-point range in 57 games during his two-year Cougar career.
Texas A&M plays New Mexico in the consolation bracket final on Sunday.
Charleston plays George Mason in a consolation game on Sunday.
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