Texas A&M runs away with 81-64 win over Montana in NIT
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) Senior Texas A&M guard Jordan Green said he wasn't ready to spend his weekend sitting on the couch watching Netflix, and it certainly showed as the Aggies fought off Montana to pull away with an 81-64 victory in the opening round of the NIT on Tuesday.
''We were not going to let that one slip out of our hands,'' Green said.
Montana (20-13) rallied from an 18-point first-half deficit to take a 48-46 lead on a Brandon Gfeller 3-pointer six minutes into the second half.
Green, who had 15 points, six rebounds and six assists, responded by relentlessly attacking the rim, scoring nine straight for the Aggies to put some cushion between them and the Grizzlies.
''He drove the ball, made good decisions and made a big 3,'' A&M coach Billy Kennedy said.
A&M (21-11) started quick, sparked by Jalen Jones, who had 25 points and eight rebounds. Jones scored seven of the Aggies' first 10 points and capped his night with an alley-oop with 43 seconds left that brought the 2,583 in attendance to their feet.
Two of A&M's freshmen guards scored in double figures. Peyton Allen had 12 points and Alex Robinson scored a career-high 15 points to go with eight assists.
''He made the right decisions,'' Kennedy said of Robinson. ''He was aggressive. He's maturing like freshmen do this time of year.''
Jordan Gregory led the Grizzlies with 20 points and hit 5 of 11 from 3. Gfeller scored all 18 of his points off of 3-pointers.
The status of A&M leading-scorer Danuel House is uncertain as he continues to recover from a foot injury.
''It'll be tough for him to play this weekend based on what we know now,'' Kennedy said.
Montana: Coach Travis DeCuire said he knew his team would have to knock down 3-pointers to have a shot at winning. The Grizzlies stayed true to their game plan, taking 35 shots from deep, but their 13 makes weren't enough.
Texas A&M: After finishing the season with three straight losses, including an upset by Auburn in their Southeastern Conference tournament debut, Jones said it felt great for the Aggies to redeem themselves.
''We didn't get into the tournament that we wanted to, but we weren't going to let that bother us,'' Jones said. ''We're in this tournament, why not win it?''
Montana: Season is over.
Texas A&M: The Aggies will host Louisiana Tech in the second round.