NEW YORK -- Quenton Jackson scored 18 points and Texas A&M advanced to the NIT championship game Tuesday night with a 72-56 rout of Washington State.
Henry Coleman III had 16 points and Manny Obaseki added 14 for the Aggies (27-12) in the second semifinal at Madison Square Garden. They will play for the title Thursday night against Xavier, an 84-77 winner over St. Bonaventure in the doubleheader opener.
Tyrell Roberts led Washington State (22-15) with 14 points. He was the only Cougars player to score double figures. Efe Abogidi had nine points and 10 rebounds in 21 minutes.
Texas A&M got the ball inside and outscored Washington State 40-30 in the second half to pull away. Even through the Aggies missed 12 of 14 attempts from 3-point range, they shot 48.5% (32 for 66) from the field.
Texas A&M held the Cougars to 34.5% shooting (19 for 55), including 24.1% from behind the arc (7 for 29). Washington State was only 11 for 20 at the foul line, too.
Washington State committed 17 turnovers to only eight for Texas A&M.
Jackson added six assists, four rebounds and two steals. He was 7 of 9 from the floor.
Coleman shot 8 for 12 in 23 minutes and pulled down six rebounds.
Postgame Team Notes
- The Aggies were dominant in the paint on their way to a 72-56 win over Washington State that put them in the Championship game of the National Invitational Tournament for the first time in program history.
- The Aggies' victory was their 27th win of the season, which matched the second-most in school history tallied by Billy Gillispie's 2006-07 Aggies that advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
- The Aggies are one win away from matching the school record of 28 victories in a season, which was set by the 2015-16 Aggies that were SEC Co-Champs and also advanced to the Sweet 16.
- It was the Aggies' 39th game of the season, which is the most in school history.
- With the victory, the Aggies have now won 11 of their last 12 games and 12 of 14 games since snapping the midseason eight-game losing skid (from Jan. 19-Feb. 12).
- The Maroon & White has recorded double-digit victories in eight of the team's last 11 wins, including in all four games in the NIT.
- The Aggies improved to 11-7 all-time in the NIT.
- The win gives the Aggies a 2-1 advantage in the all-time series with Washington State. Tuesday's meeting was the first meeting between the teams since the 2012 CBE Classic.
- The Aggies had an astonishing 58 points in the paint as they connected on 48.5% of their shots, including 58.1% in the second half. The Aggies' 58 paint points were more than WSU scored in the game (56).
- For the game, 64 of the Aggies' 72 points came in the paint (58) or the via the charity stripe (6). In the first half, 29 of the Aggies' 32 points came in the paint (26 points) or via the charity stripe (3).
- The Aggies started the game hitting just three of their first 21 shots, but rallied to connect on 29-of-45 field goal attempts for the remainder of the game (64.4%)
- One of the nation's leaders in steals per game (10.2) and turnovers forced per game (17.0), the Aggies forced exactly 17 turnovers and made five steals against Washington State. The Aggies had a 25-5 advantage in points from turnovers.
- Texas A&M utilized a starting lineup of Quenton Jackson, Wade Taylor IV, Henry Coleman III, Tyrece Radford and Manny Obaseki for the 12th time (11-1).
- With a game-high 18 points against the Cougars, Quenton Jackson has now scored in double figures in 20 of the Aggies' last 21 games and in 31 of the Aggies' 39 games in 2021-22. It marked the 18th game this season where Jackson has led the team in points.
- Freshman Manny Obaseki chipped in 14 points, which was just off his career high of 19 vs. Northwestern State on Dec. 21. It was his fourth game in double figures, including two of the last three.
- Tyrece Radford led the team in rebounds for the fourth-straight game with seven. The Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native has hauled in a team-best 40 rebounds during the Aggies' run to the Championship game of the NIT.
- Sophomore Henry Coleman added 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting, while not going to the free throw line for just the fifth time this season.
The Aggies will face Xavier from the Big East Conference for the NIT Championship on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET at Madison Square Garden. The Championship will be televised by ESPN.