Aggie Men Win NIT Tourney at MSG

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Reserve guard Derrick Roland scored a career-high 15 points and No. 15 Texas A&M held Ohio State to one field goal in the first 11 1/2 minutes of the second half in a 70-47 victory Friday night in the championship game of the NIT Season Tip-Off.

The Aggies (6-0) were ahead 31-25 at halftime and then turned on the defense, holding the Buckeyes (3-1) to 1-for-17 shooting to open the second half at Madison Square Garden.

When Jamar Butler hit a jumper with 8:33 to play for Ohio State's second field goal of the second half, it ended Texas A&M's 23-5 run that made it 54-30.

The Aggies, who were patient on offense to complement their defense, led by as many 31 points -- 66-35 on a rebound basket by Nathan Walkup with 3:39 to play.

Freshman center DeAndre Jordan and Walkup both had 11 points for Texas A&M, which advanced to the championship game with a 77-63 victory over Washington.

Senior forward Joseph Jones had 10 points and seven rebounds for Texas A&M to go with his 17 points and eight rebound against Washington and he was selected the tournament's MVP.

The previous career high for Roland, a sophomore, was nine points earlier this season against Ouachita. He had two points in the semifinals.

Butler had 17 points for the Buckeyes, who advanced with a 79-65 win over No. 21 Syracuse. Ohio State lost three freshmen -- including overall No. 1 pick Greg Oden -- to the NBA draft lottery after reaching the championship game of the NCAA tournament last season.

Ohio State's 7-foot freshman Kosta Koufos had 24 points and nine rebounds in the semifinals but he finished with 10 points on 4-for-16 shooting against the Aggies.

The Buckeyes shot 24.6 percent for the game (14-for-57), including 5-for-28 in the second half (17.9 percent). Ohio State was 4-for-21 from 3-point range.

Texas A&M shot 52.7 percent for the game (29-for-55) and outrebounded the Buckeyes 47-32, with Jordan leading the Aggies with eight.

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