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In the Mississippi Valley,
In the Crescent Bend
Stands our loved and noble Xavier,
Far her praises send.
Wave her colors bear them onward
Gold and white so true
Hail to thee, all hail, dear Xavier
Hail, all hail, X.U.!
Xavier, ever be our guide
And lead us on the way,
Through life's journey, onward, upward
To the eternal day. (Refrain)
NOTE: SUNO won 77-74 at Spring Hill on Tuesday . . . Xavier (24-6) will play SUNO (7-19) at 7 p.m. Thursday
Nuggets play Spring Hill-SUNO winner Thursday
March 4, 2008
NEW ORLEANS — The Xavier University of Louisiana women's basketball team
won a pair of Gulf Coast Athletic Conference games at The Barn by more than
30 points this season. The first was a 75-43 victory over SUNO on Jan. 10.
The other was a 78-43 decision over Spring Hill on Feb. 21.
So guess who's the coming to The Barn this week to play the Gold Nuggets in
the quarterfinals of the GCAC Tournament? The winner of Tuesday's first-round game
between SUNO and Spring Hill.
The Gold Nuggets will play the Lady Knights or Lady Badgers at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Admission will be $6 for adults and $3 for students and children 12 and younger.
First Round — Tuesday, March 4
#10 SUNO 77, #7 Spring Hill 74
#9 Dillard 80, #8 Tougaloo 74
Quarterfinals — Thursday, March 6
#9 Dillard (11-19) at #1 Loyola (24-5), 7 p.m.
#5 LSU-Shreveport (13-14) at #4 William Carey (14-10), 7 p.m.
#10 SUNO (7-19) at #2 Xavier (24-6), 7 p.m. at The Barn
#6 Belhaven (14-14) at #3 Mobile (17-13), 7 p.m.
Semifinals — Saturday, March 8
#9 Dillard-#1 Loyola winner vs. #4 William Carey-#5 LSU-Shreveport winner
#10 SUNO-#2 Xavier winner vs. #3 Mobile-#6 Belhaven winner
Championship — Tuesday, March 11
"I'd never guarantee any blowouts," Xavier Coach Bo Browder said. "But those games
(against SUNO and Spring Hill) tell me we're capable of playing very well. Our
ladies know the importance of stepping up their game in the postseason and leaving
it all out on the court."
The Nuggets — 24-6 and No. 24 in the NAIA Division I coaches poll of
Feb. 27 — will enter Thursday's game with momentum, having won seven of their last
eight regular-season games, including a 67-64 home victory against regular-season
champion Loyola which snapped the Wolfpack's winning streak at 16 games and extended
Xavier's winning streak at The Barn to 17 games.
By virtue of winning the regular-season championship, Loyola earned one of two
automatic bids from the GCAC to the national tournament, which will
begin March 19 in Jackson, Tenn. The NAIA awards two automatic bids to each conference with 10
or members. If Loyola wins the GCAC tourney, the runner-up would
receive the second automatic bid. That's how Xavier earned the GCAC's second automatic bid in 2007. The Nuggets finished
second to Loyola in the regular season and lost 73-68 to the Wolfpack.
"It's important for us to get back to the national tournament," said Browder, who has
coached seven of eight Xavier teams to the NAIA tourney, including the past six.
"This team deserves it already. But I'd like to see us get there as the 2008 GCAC
The other first-round game Tuesday will match Dillard at Tougaloo.
Like Xavier's men's team, the Nuggets earned a first-round bye because of their
top-six finish in the regular season and secured homecourt
advantage for the quarterfinals by finishing in the top four.
Should the Nuggets win Thursday, they would host a semifinal opponent at 7 p.m. Saturday at The Barn.
The championship game will be Tuesday, March 11.
Xavier is 3-0 against Spring Hill and 5-0 against SUNO in the GCAC Tournament.
The Nuggets, stung by two regular-season losses to SUNO, smacked
the Lady Knights 65-46 in the 2007 semifinals at The Barn. Xavier hasn't played Spring Hill
in the postseason since a 70-50 victory in the 2002 GCAC quarterfinals.
Xavier swept SUNO during the 2008 GCAC schedule but split two games with Spring Hill.
The Lady Badgers won 71-68 on Jan. 5 at Mobile, Ala., in the second conference game
Four-time All-GCAC guard Jarryn Cleaves, a 5-foot-8 senior from Memphis, Tenn., led the Gold Nuggets during the regular season
with 13.7 points per game. She is Xavier's career women's leader in 3-point field goals made with 272
and is among the NAIA Division I leaders with 3.3 steals and 2.4 3-point field goals per game.
Erica Turnbull, a senior and a 6-foot forward/center from Baltimore, Md., is a two-time All-GCAC
selection who averaged 12.7 points and 5.9 rebounds. She ranks among the national leaders with a
.557 field-goal percentage.
Xavier has seven seniors, plus five freshmen who accounted for 26 percent of the Nuggets'
regular-season points. Browder started two freshmen, center Johnna Williams (6-0,
Prairieville, La.) and guard Shayla Boyd (5-6, Gonzales, La.), in the victory against Loyola this past week.
Highest surviving seeds will host in each round of the tourney.
The Nuggets hold GCAC Tournament records for most championships (nine) and appearances in
the finals (15). Xavier defeated Mobile 78-63 for its most recent championship in 2005.