ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) Jordan Nixon hit all six of her 3-point tries and scored 25 points as No. 23 Texas A&M built a third-quarter lead and held off Northwestern 77-68 on the final day of the Paradise Jam on Saturday.
Destiny Pitts added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Aggies (7-0), while Kayla Wells scored 15. Sahara Jones pitched in with 10 points and six boards off the bench.
The Aggies pulled away from a halftime tie with a 29-19 third-quarter run. Pitts had nine points and Nixon hit three threes in the pivotal quarter.
Veronica Burton had 18 points and four steals to pace the Wildcats (4-3). Freshman reserve Melannie Daley contributed 15 points, four rebounds and three steals. Jillian Brown scored 13.
The Aggies extended their program-record win streak against non-conference opponents to 23 with the victory. Texas A&M trailed South Dakota 30-21 at halftime in its previous tournament game before outscoring the Coyotes 24-2 in the third quarter.
RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
- Texas A&M improves to 7-0 to start the season for the second-consecutive year.
- The Maroon & White are on a 23-game win streak against regular season non-conference opponents, a record dating back to Dec. 1, 2019, the longest non-conference winning streak in program history.
- The Aggies are now 1-1 versus Northwestern all-time.
- Jordan Nixon was named MVP of the Reef Tournament at the Paradise Jam. Kayla Wells was also named to the Paradise Jam All-Tournament Team.
- This was the first time the Aggies have won three games in three days since winning the Maggie Dixon Classic Nov. 14-16, 2014.
- The Aggies recorded more assists than the Wildcats, registering 13 to Northwestern’s seven.
- Texas A&M made 10 triples at a 62.5% clip. Northwestern went 3-of-16 (18.8%) from deep.
- The Maroon & White has maintained a double-digit lead in every game this season.
- A&M is now 6-3 all-time at the Paradise Jam. This is its first Paradise Jam Tournament Championship in three strips.
- Texas A&M utilized a starting lineup of Jordan Nixon, Qadashah Hoppie, Kayla Wells, Destiny Pitts and Sydnee Roby for the second time this season (2-0).
- Kayla Wells has now played in 132 games for the Aggies, which is 12 games from breaking Karla Gilbert’s program record of 143. Wells also made her 99th-consecutive start for the Maroon & White.
- Jordan Nixon led the Aggies, matching her season high in points with 25. The New York native shot a career-best 6-of-6 from deep, the most made threes for an Aggie since Chennedy Carter made seven on March 30, 2019.
- Sydnee Roby dished a career-high three assists and grabbed four rebounds.
- Destiny Pitts led the team with nine rebounds and poured in 15 points on 50.0% shooting.
- Wells had 15 points and has now scored in double-digits in every game this year.
- Sahara Jones scored 10 points and set career highs in rebounds (six) and blocks (two).
- Women’s Basketball Hall-of-Fame head coach Gary Blair climbs to 845-333 overall with a 47–170 record since arriving in Aggieland in 2003-04.
- Blair continues his chase of men’s basketball coaching legend Shelby Metcalf for the most basketball victories at Texas A&M, currently two wins away from surpassing the record of 438.
- Blair is now 2-4 versus Northwestern head coach Joe McKeown, snapping a four-game losing streak dating back to his Arkansas stint.
Head coach Gary Blair
On the team’s performance…
“Our kids once again responded to adversity. Jordan (Nixon) got two fouls early, and everyone picked up the slack. Our defense tightened up and we were tied at the half. Give Northwestern a lot of credit. The key to the ball game was Sahara (Jones) and (Qadashah) Hoppie’s defense. They did a great job on (Vernonica) Burton who went 4-of-14. Very proud of our basketball team. We had to adjust every single game because we were facing good teams. (Sydnee) Roby came out and made some great passes out of the post. We started attacking and our three ball was really working. We are going to head home, but I want the fans to come out on Wednesday when we play a very good Little Rock team. We play at 11 a.m. and we need everyone there to support us. It is time to stand up, come out in person and cheer this team on.”
The Aggies take on Little Rock at 11 a.m. CT at Reed Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 1.