Twice this season, Texas A&M guard Jordan Nixon has saved the Aggies in the game's dying moments. In Wednesday's matchup with Iowa State, Nixon did so again—both in the last second, and in the 45 minutes of game time that preceded it.
Nixon's game-winning shot at the buzzer pushed No. 2 seed Texas A&M over No. 7 Iowa State, 84-82, in an overtime thriller that has the Aggies moving on to the Sweet 16. It was Texas A&M's first lead all game after trailing by as many as 12.
For Nixon, the shot was the perfect coda in a virtuoso performance, in which the sophomore scored a career-high 35 points on 16-for-28 shooting to go along with a team-high seven assists. It was Nixon's third buzzer-beater of the season, after she previously hit game-winner at the last second twice against Arkansas.
Nixon out-dueled Iowa State's Ashley Joens, a two-time honorable mention All-American who had 32 points, 18 rebounds and three assists on the day.
The Cyclones led by 10 at the end of the first quarter and by nine heading into the fourth. Iowa State shot a scorching 16-for-30 on three-point attempts, but Texas A&M forced 24 turnovers and attempted 19 more shots to mount its comeback.
Speaking with ESPN's Holly Rowe after the game, Nixon credited her teammates for believing in her to come through in the game's biggest moments.
"I say it all the time, it really just goes back to trust. (My teammates) trust me, they trust me to make plays, they trust me to lead this team," Nixon said. "Win, lose or draw, every single person on that bench is behind me, and it just makes these moments that much more special."
With the win, the Aggies move on to the Sweet 16 to take on No. 3 seed Arizona. Should Texas A&M find itself in a tight game late again, Nixon has full faith that her team can come through.
"The spirit of the 12th man, if you're familiar: we keep fighting," Nixon said. "This team is so resilient...we never say die, and I think you saw that tonight."
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