ST. THOMAS — Jordan Nixon had a near-perfect night for No. 23 Texas A&M in its final game at the Paradise Jam women’s college basketball tournament.
The Aggies needed such a performance from Nixon, whose game-high 25 points carried them to a 77-68 victory over Northwestern on Saturday night for the Paradise Jam’s Reef Division title.
Destiny Pitts and Kayla Wells added 15 points each and Sahara Jones 10 points for Texas A&M (7-0), which won a Jam division title for the first time in three tries. The Aggies also took part in the tournament in 2007 and 2013.
Veronica Burton led the Huskies (4-3) with 18 points. Mellanie Daley scored all 14 of her points in the second half, and Jillian Brown added 13 points. Courtney Shaw had 12 rebounds.
Northwestern actually stuck with Texas A&M through the first half, with four lead changes and three ties en route to a 22-all tie at the halftime break.
But the Aggies broke through in the third quarter. Led by Nixon, who nailed three 3-pointers in the quarter, Texas A&M pulled ahead by as many as 15 points — 48-33 with 2 minutes, 18 seconds left on Sydney Roby’s short jumper — and were ahead 51-41 entering the final period.
Northwestern would pull no closer than seven points in the fourth quarter, and that was early in the period. It was a double-digit lead for the Aggies for most of the quarter.
Jordan Nixon, Texas A&M: “Near-perfect” is the perfect description for the 5-foot-8 junior’s performance Saturday in earning the Reef Division’s most valuable player award. She was 7 of 9 from the field — but a perfect 6 for 6 on 3-pointers — and 5 of 6 on free throws. She also more than doubled her career high — 12 points, coming during her freshman year at Notre Dame.
Veronica Burton, Northwestern: The 5-9 senior was a big reason the Wildcats were able to stay in the game against Texas A&M, scoring 14 points in the second half. While not having that great a shooting game (4 for 14 from the field, 1 for 5 on 3-pointers), she was 9 for 10 on free throws.
• Texas A&M and Northwestern both sank the same number of field goals in Saturday’s game — the Aggies were 24 for 52 (46.2%) from the field, the Wildcats 24 for 70 (34.3%). The difference came in A&M’s performance from deep and the free throw line. Led by Nixon’s perfect game, the Aggies made 10 of 16 3s, while Northwestern made just 3 of 16. Texas A&M also went 19 of 28 on free throws, while the Wildcats were 17 of 24.
Nixon was joined on the all-tournament team by Wells, Burton, Pittsburgh’s Dayshanette Harris and South Dakota’s Chloe Lamb.
Texas A&M hosts Arkansas-Little Rock on Wednesday, while Northwestern plays at Clemson on Thursday.