Gold Nuggets top Tougaloo, reach GCAC semifinals
March 4, 2009
NEW ORLEANS — Brittany Powell scored 20 points
Wednesday to lead four Xavier University of Louisiana double-figure scorers
in an 81-54 women's basketball victory over Tougaloo in the quarterfinals
of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament.
The Gold Nuggets (23-8), the tournament's No. 3 seed,
won for the seventh time in eight games and advanced to a 7 p.m. Friday
semifinal at second-seeded LSU-Shreveport, a 56-46 winner against SUNO.
The top four seeds all advanced with home victories.
Marchelle Jones added 12 points, one less than her
career high, and Shayla Boyd and Danielle Jones scored 11 apiece for Xavier,
which scored 13 consecutive points en route to a 37-19 halftime lead.
Powell, an All-GCAC selection, is the only Nugget to
score 20 points in a game this season. She did it for the first time since Jan. 10.
The Nuggets' points were one less than their season high,
and they shot a season-best 55.9 percent from the floor. The winning margin
was their largest of the season.
Kim Kern scored 19 points and Tamara Jackson 10 for
Tougaloo (10-21), which earned the No. 6 seed by winning its final three
regular-season games. GCAC Freshman of the Year Victoria Jones, whose 14.1
rebound average entering the game led NAIA Division I, grabbed 10 in 29
minutes for the Lady Bulldogs. She scored five points, well below her
team-leading 14.5 average.
Xavier limited Tougaloo to 35.6 percent from the
floor and gained 31 turnovers, 16 by steals. Kern made five of Tougaloo's
nine 3-pointers, and the Lady Bulldogs finished their season with a
Xavier defeated Tougaloo for the 26th consecutive
time at The Barn. Xavier has won 44 of the past 47 meetings, including all
three this season, and leads the series 58-10. The Nuggets won at The Barn
for the 79th time in their past 82 games.
LSUS, 2-0 against Xavier in the regular season,
rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit at home against seventh-seeded SUNO.
Top-seeded and two-time defending champion Loyola defeated eighth-seeded
Mobile 80-62, and fourth-seeded William Carey beat fifth-seeded Belhaven 63-57
in the other quarterfinals. William Carey will visit Loyola at 7 p.m. Friday.