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Loyola runs away in second half to keep GCAC lead
January 31, 2008

Box Score

NEW ORLEANS — Trenell Smith scored 11 of her 18 points during a pair of double-digit runs in the second half Thursday to lead NAIA No. 16 Loyola to a 71-51 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women's basketball victory over No. 18 Xavier University of Louisiana at The Den.

The victory was the ninth in a row for the Wolfpack (16-4 overall, 9-0 GCAC) and their 26th straight against conference opponents — 23 regular-season games, three in the 2007 GCAC Tournament. Loyola leads the GCAC by two games over Mobile and Xavier, which could have tied Loyola for first place with a victory.

Smith scored five points during an 11-0 run which gave Loyola a 46-35 lead with 13:51 remaining. Xavier (17-4, 7-2) whittled the lead to 51-45, then Smith scored six points during a 15-0 run which iced the victory.

"I have to tip my hat to Loyola," Xavier Coach Bo Browder said. "I could talk about what we didn't do, but Loyola deserves the credit. They came out with energy and took it to us. They played an excellent game."

Trenese Smith, Trenell's twin and the GCAC Player of the Year as a freshman this past season, scored 16 points for Loyola. Kiely Schork scored 14, and Christine Mainguy had 11 points and 10 rebounds — her fourth double-double of the season.

Erica Turnbull scored 14 points for Xavier, and freshman Johnna Williams had 14 rebounds, the most by a Nugget this season, and 11 points.

"She's a freshman, but I've thought since we recruited her that she has a chance to be real special," Browder said of Williams. "Any time a freshman gets 11 points and 14 boards, that's outstanding."

Loyola outshot Xavier 48 to 32 percent from the floor. The Nuggets had a 21-8 advantage in offensive rebounds, but the Wolfpack outscored Xavier 11-10 in second-chance points.

Loyola also limited Jarryn Cleaves and LaTashia Wise — the Nuggets' No. 1 and 3 scorers entering the game — to a combined four points on 2-of-12 floor shooting. Wise did not score, and Cleaves, a three-time All-GCAC guard, had a season-low four points.

Xavier, whose six-game winning streak ended, never led and trailed 33-25 at halftime. The Nuggets gained their only tie when Williams scored in the lane to make it 35-all with 15:19 remaining.

The losing margin was Xavier's largest against a GCAC opponent since an 89-58 defeat at Tougaloo on Feb. 28, 2000. But conference losses of any size have been rare for the Nuggets since that game at Tougaloo. Since then Xavier is 92-19 in the GCAC with four regular-season championships.

Xavier and Loyola will meet again at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 28 at The Barn. Xavier was the last GCAC team to beat Loyola — 75-70 in overtime at The Barn on Jan. 13, 2007.

Xavier's next game will start at 5 p.m. Saturday at William Carey. Loyola will play SUNO next at 1 p.m. Monday at Delgado Community College. Both are GCAC games.

 

 
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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Xavier University of Louisiana
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Campus Box 92
New Orleans, LA 70125
(504) 520-7329 phone
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