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If Notre Dame is going to live up to the preseason hype as an NCAA Tournament team, it will have to do better than it did the past few days. Despite being in front for much of its third and final Maui Invitational game against Texas A&M, it proved to be for naught. The Aggies came back for a 73-67 win, forcing the Irish to a 1-2 record in the tournament and a sixth-place finish.
The Irish (3-2) led almost the entire first half and held a 14-point lead early in the second. However, the Aggies (6-1) took control when their bench went on a scoring tear that the Irish couldn’t stop. Once the Aggies took their first lead since 1-0, they never gave it back. With the Irish piling up turnovers and being forced into tough offensive possessions, a win was not to be.
The Aggies received little scoring help from their starters, which makes this game’s outcome even more surprising. Quenton Jackson scored all but three of his 18 points in the second half and finished with an 8-of-11 shooting performance from the field. Hassan Diarra was just behind Jackson with 17 points as he was 7 of 11 from the free-throw line. Wade Taylor IV scored 14.
Dane Goodwin paced the Irish with 18 points and made all eight of his free throws. Prentiss Hubb scored 11 points but also committed a career-high eight turnovers. Paul Atkinson Jr. also scored 11, and Blake Wesley had 10 off the bench.