Xavier Athletics



Helaire's the hero in GCAC quarterfinals
For immediate release . . . February 28, 2007
Box Score

NEW ORLEANS — Karmynah Helaire, a walk-on who joined the Xavier University of Louisiana women's basketball team in late January, scored the game's final three points Wednesday to rally the Gold Nuggets in a 38-37 victory against William Carey in the quarterfinals of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament at The Barn.

The victory, the Gold Nuggets' fourth in a row and their second in a week against William Carey, moved them into the semifinals against SUNO, a 56-37 winner against Spring Hill. Second-seeded Xavier (22-10) will meet third-seeded SUNO (17-7) at 7 p.m. Friday at The Barn.

Helaire, a senior from Natchitoches, La., who scored six points in her first nine games, hit a running bank shot with 38 seconds remaining to tie the score at 37, then hit the second of two free throws with 10.2 seconds remaining to give the Nuggets their first lead in more than 3 1/2 minutes. The teams traded turnovers in the final 10 seconds, then the Lady Saders' Leironica Evans missed a 3-pointer from 35 feet as time expired.

Jarryn Cleaves scored 13 points for Xavier, and Dominee Matthews had 10 points and 10 rebounds for her first double-double since Nov. 4.

Randi Cyprien had nine points, eight rebounds and five assists for William Carey (10-16), which lost for the 14th consecutive time to Xavier.

Xavier advanced despite shooting a season-low 23.1 percent from the floor. William Carey shot 26 percent, and both teams committed 23 turnovers.

Xavier led 21-15 at halftime and had 10-point leads in both halves, the last at 28-18 with 15:50 remaining. But the Lady Saders chipped away and took a 36-35 lead — their first in more than 30 minutes — when Taphne Jackson made the second of two free throws with 3:15 remaining. Nikki Smith made it 37-35 when she hit the second of two free throws with 47 seconds to play.

Then Helaire became the hero, and Xavier advanced to the semifinals for the sixth consecutive time.


Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Xavier fields men's and women's teams in basketball, cross country and tennis.

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