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NAIA    NAIA Division I National Championship
At Oman Arena, Jackson, Tenn.
Thursday, March 20: Xavier (27-6) vs. Lambuth (23-9), 6:15 p.m.
Tournament Links  •  Pregame  •  Notes  •  Live Video  •  Live Stats  •  Story  •  Box

10 schools qualified men's and women's basketball teams for NAIA Division I nationals in 2007 and 2008:
Azusa Pacific, Cumberlands, Lambuth, Lee, Lewis-Clark State,
McKendree, Oklahoma Baptist, Oklahoma City, Southern Nazarene and XAVIER.

Gold Nuggets to play defending national champion
March 12, 2008

NEW ORLEANS — The Xavier University of Louisiana women's basketball team won a pair of notable one-point road decisions this season. One was Nov. 16 at NCAA Division I member Northwestern State, and the other was Tuesday at Loyola in the championship game of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament.

The Gold Nuggets' first-round pairing against Lambuth in the NAIA Division I National Championship at Jackson, Tenn., figures to be a challenging road game, too.

Although Oman Arena, the tournament site since 1990, isn't Lambuth's home court, it's less than a mile from the campus. And Lambuth's Lady Eagles were the 2007 NAIA champion.

Xavier (27-6) will play Lambuth (23-9) in the opening round next Thursday (March 20) at 5:45 p.m. All the pairings for the 32-team event were announced Wednesday.

The Nuggets will enter the Lambuth game with confidence, having won five in row and 10 of their past 11 games. They ended a three-game losing streak at Loyola and snapped the Wolfpack's 27-game home winning streak against GCAC opponents with a 65-64 Tuesday decision which denied Loyola a second consecutive championship.

Freshman Shayla Boyd rallied the Nuggets from a five-point deficit against Loyola in the final 75 seconds. She scored the final six points on 3-of-3 shooting, and her basket with seven-tenths of a second remaining gave Xavier the victory and its first lead in more than 17 minutes.

Lambuth survived a 1-4 start this season and closed by winning 14 of its final 16 games.

Xavier was three Tennesseeans on its roster, most notably Memphis resident Jarryn Cleaves. The four-time All-GCAC guard averaged 23.5 points in the final two rounds of the GCAC Tournament, and her 22 points against Loyola moved her into fifth place on the Nuggets' career scoring list with 1,731. In fourth place is Antasha Jones (1993-97) with 1,799 points.

Xavier tied for 24th in the final coaches poll, and Lambuth was 11th. Each quadrant of the 32-team event is seeded 1-8, and the Nuggets are No. 6 for the second consecutive year. Lambuth is a No. 3 seed.

Xavier will set a school record with its seventh consecutive appearance at nationals, and it's the 13th time in 14 seasons that the Nuggets qualified. The streaks do not include 2006, when Xavier suspended athletics in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The Nuggets seek their first victory at nationals since 2003, when they eliminated another Tennessee school, Trevecca Nazarene, 64-55. Xavier leads its series with Lambuth 3-2, but the most recent meeting was a 90-63 Lady Eagles victory in the first round of nationals in 2001.

The GCAC's other qualifier for nationals, Loyola, will play Westminster (Utah) in the first round at 12:30 p.m. next Thursday.

 

 
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.

Department of Intercollegiate Athletics
Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive
Campus Box 92
New Orleans, LA 70125
(504) 520-7329 phone
(504) 520-7934 fax

 
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