Quenton Jackson scored 15 points and nabbed five steals as Texas AM used a late first-half run to create separation and held on for a 57-50 win over Butler in the Maui Invitational, being played this year in Las Vegas, on Tuesday afternoon.
Texas AM will play the winner of Tuesday's other consolation semifinal between Notre Dame and Chaminade in the fifth-place game on Wednesday evening. Butler will square off with the loser of that semi in the seventh-place game, also on Wednesday.
The Aggies led by 12 points at the half but by just three after Butler's Chuck Harris's offensive rebound and putback with 27 seconds to play. AM's Marcus Williams added a pair of free throws to expand the lead to five points and the Aggies were able to clinch the win with two free throws by Jackson with 3 seconds left.
Williams, Tyrece Radford and Henry Coleman III added eight points each for the Aggies (5-1). Coleman also pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.
Jair Bolden paced the Bulldogs (3-3) with 10 points and Jayden Taylor added nine for Butler, which shot just 36.2 percent from the floor. The Bulldogs have lost three straight games.
The Aggies trailed by a point at the 7:47 mark but then reeled off 16 of the final 19 points of the half to go to the break up 33-21. Radford, Coleman and Jackson each had eight points in the first half to lead the Aggies, who outshot Butler 48.3 percent to 35 percent in the first 20 minutes of play.
Harris and Ty Groce scored five points apiece for Butler by the half, as the Bulldogs hit only three of their 11 3-pointers in the first half and had 13 turnovers that led to 17 points for Texas AM.
The Aggies held on to their lead through the first nine minutes of the second half, with Jackson's steal and dunk moving AM back to a 12-point advantage. Butler cut the deficit to 50-45 after Taylor made two of three free throws.
--Field Level Media