NORMAL, Ill. --Texas A&M saw its season come to an end with a 62-55 loss to Illinois State in the quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational Monday night before 3,251 fans at Redbird Arena.
The Aggies (18-16), who were the first-ever SEC team to play in the building, trailed by five with just under 90 seconds left.
After a great offensive possession led to a fast break, Jamal Jones followed a miss with a rebound and then passed out of a four-man press to a wide open Antwan Space. The layup cut the deficit to three with 1:05 to go.
On what would be the game's defining possession, the Redbirds (18-15) ran the shot clock all the way down before Nick Zeisloft's deep three-point effort. Reggie Lynch would tip the long rebound back out to a teammate, forcing A&M to foul. ISu would sink its final four free throws of the game to seal the win.
The contest was tight throughout, with neither team leading by more than 7 points--the game's final margin.
Space led Texas A&M with 15 points--13 coming in the second half. Jones, who grabbed a team-high 9 rebounds, scored just one of his 14 points in the game's final 20 minutes.
Illinois State's Daishon Knight led all scorers with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting and totaled a team-best 9 boards. Lynch controlled the paint, especially late--swatting 6 shots on the night. John Jones added 11 points.
Texas A&M got out to a quick 7-2 lead, keyed by Jamal Jones' first three-pointer of the night five minutes in to the contest.
Trailing 15-10 at the halfway point, John Jones scored 9 straight points to put the Redbirds in front for the first time.
The lead would extend to five before an 8-0 Aggie run--six coming from Jamal Jones--put Texas A&M back on top. The Aggies would stay there until a deep three by Nick Zeisloft with 44 seconds to play before the break tied the game at 27, where it would stay heading into the locker room.
Illinois State 62, Texas A&M 55
March 24, 2014 ● Redbird Arena
TEAM RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
● Texas A&M finishes the 2013-14 season with a 18-16 record following a 62-55 loss at Illinois State on Monday night during the CBI quarterfinals.
● The all-time series between the schools now stands at 2-0 in favor of Illinois State.
● Texas A&M shot 34.0 percent in the contest (18-for-53) while the Redbirds made 24-of-55 shots (43.6%) … From the free throw line, the Aggies were 15-of-28
● The game stood tied at 27-27 heading into the intermission.
● The Maroon & White used the starting line-up combination of Alex Caruso, Jordan Green, Jamal Jones, Antwan Space and Kourtney Roberson for the sixth time this season.
● Sophomore Antwan Space paced the Aggies in scoring with 15 points on 5-of-15 shooting while also pulling down six rebounds.
● Junior Jamal Jones approached his second career double-double in the contest, finishing with 14 points and nine rebounds … The Wynne, Ark., native made a pair of 3-point baskets Monday to give him a total of 82 for the season, second most by an Aggie in a single season.
● Junior Kourtney Roberson contributed 11 points and seven boards in the loss.
● Sophomore Alex Caruso dished out a game-high six assists to give him 170 for the year, a figure that ranks him sixth all-time in program history for a single season … Additionally, Caruso now has 282 assists for his A&M career, 13th most in program history.
● A&M head coach Billy Kennedy is now 50-49 in his third season at Texas A&M and 261-228 in 16 years as a head coach.