Williams scores 23 to lead Nuggets past Belhaven
February 9, 2008
NEW ORLEANS — Freshman Johnna Williams scored 23 points — the most by a Xavier Univertsity
of Louisiana women's basketball player this season — and grabbed nine rebounds Saturday to lead
the Gold Nuggets to a 63-56 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference victory over Belhaven at The Barn.
Williams, daughter of former Tulane and NBA standout John "Hot Rod" Williams, was 9-of-11
from the floor and 5-of-7 from the line in her first collegiate start. She scored in double figures
for the third time in four games and scored the most points by a Xavier freshman since Jarryn Cleaves'
26-point performance against Loyola in the semifinals of the GCAC Tournament on March 5, 2004.
Shayla Boyd scored 10 points for Xavier (19-5 overall, 9-3 GCAC), and Tiffany Norris had nine points
and eight rebounds.
Jaelyn Stringer scored a career-high 22 points for Belhaven (11-11, 6-6) and had five rebounds, five
blocked shots and three steals. Jira Williams had 11 points and nine rebounds.
Xavier, No. 24 in the NAIA Division I coaches poll, never trailed. There were two ties in the first
eight minutes, then the Nuggets took the lead for good, 9-6, on LaTashia Wise's 3-pointer at 11:48.
Danielle Jones' basket at 2:52 of the half gave the Nuggets their biggest lead, 33-16.
Belhaven reduced a 33-20 halftime deficit to 36-33 on LaTessia Lee's 3-point play with 12:32 remaining,
but the Lady Blazers came no closer. Xavier iced the victory by making 7-of-8 free throws in the final 2:04.
Xavier outshot Belhaven 40 to 38 percent from the floor, and both teams grabbed 35 rebounds. The Lady
Blazers committed 28 turnovers, five more than Xavier.
The Nuggets extended their winning streak at The Barn to 13 games, 11 this season. Xavier has
beaten Belhaven 11 consecutive times and 26 of the past 27 meetings.
Xavier remained tied for second place in the GCAC with Mobile and three games behind defending champion Loyola.
Xavier will attempt to reach 20 victories for the seventh consecutive season when it plays LSU-Shreveport
at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at The Barn.