FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — No. 8 Texas A&M only led once in the fourth quarter – exactly when it mattered most.
Jordan Nixon hit a running shot with under a second left, lifting No. 8 Texas A&M over No. 13 Arkansas 74-73 on Sunday.
Nixon’s shot from outside the lane with 0.4 seconds left helped the Aggies (12-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) keep their perfect season intact.
“You always want the ball in your hands with a chance to win the game,” Nixon said. “Arkansas is a good team and they played good defense on that last play, but I just made the shot.”
Arkansas’ Chelsea Dungee put up a shot from the left corner at the buzzer, but the shot was blocked.
Aaliyah Wilson, who transferred from Arkansas to Texas A&M, led the Aggies with a career-high 27 points, but it was her heads-up defensive play late that helped set-up Nixon’s winner.
Nixon hit a driving layup and drew a foul with 23.2 seconds left. Her free throw completed the three-point play and pulled the Aggies within 73-72. Arkansas inbounded to Dungee, but Wilson was able to poke the ball away from behind, and A&M forced a tie ball and got it back on the alternating possession.
Nixon dribbled the clock down to the end before driving the right side of the lane and hitting the shot off the glass.
“They took the first, second and third options away from us,” A&M coach Gary Blair said. “Jordan made a big-time play. That’s what she’s all about, big-time plays.”
Dungee led the way for Arkansas (10-4, 1-3) with 21 points.
After Nixon’s shot with 0.4 left, Arkansas called a timeout to try and set up a final play. Arkansas tried to work a high lob into the post, but before the ball ever touched a player, the buzzer sounded. By rule, the clock does not start until the ball is touched.
Officials reset the clock back to 0.4 and Dungee got the inbounds pass but her final shot was blocked.
“On the last play . I still don’t really know what all happened,” Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors said. “You just hate to see a game that good end that way.”
Arkansas was without one of its leading scorers, Amber Ramirez, who missed the game because of an injury she suffered in practice. Ramirez, who is averaging 12.5 points per game, was in concussion protocol.
SHE SAID IT
“It was huge. Huge. Defense wins games, I know that is cliche, but it is what it is.” said Nixon of Wilson’s defensive play that forced a late Arkansas turnover. “That was a big play. She played her heart out. I’m so proud of her to come back to Arkansas and to do what she did today.”
N’dea Jones had a double-double for Texas A&M with 12 points and 14 rebounds. The Aggies had four players score in double-figures and Nixon finished with 9 points. . Makayla Daniels scored 16 for Arkansas. . The Razorbacks have lost three of their last four games.
Texas A&M: The Aggies will be in the road Thursday at LSU starting at 6 p.m.
Arkansas: Will host Florida on Thursday at 7 p.m.