LSUS beats Nuggets again, this time in GCAC semis
March 6, 2009
NEW ORLEANS — Quan Joseph scored 13 points Friday to
lead LSU-Shreveport past defending champion Xavier University of Louisiana 59-56
in the women's basketball semifinals of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament.
The Gold Nuggets (23-9), seeded third in the tournament,
lost for the third time in as many tries this season to second-seeded LSUS (27-4),
which advanced to Monday's 7 p.m. championship game at regular-season champion Loyola.
LSUS and Loyola have clinched automatic berths to the NAIA Division I National
Danielle Jones scored 10 points and Brittany Powell
nine for Xavier, which led 29-28 at halftime, and Johnna Williams grabbed 11
rebounds. LSUS outshot the Nuggets 38 to 32 percent from the floor and outscored
them 24-9 in free throws.
Five Lady Pilots scored during a 10-0 run which turned
a 39-35 Xavier lead into a 45-39 LSUS lead with 7:43 remaining. Flowers' basket at
9:16 put the Lady Pilots ahead to stay at 41-39.
LSUS took its biggest lead, 57-47, on Joseph's basket
at 2:05, then the Nuggets scored nine straight points, including Grant's 3-pointer
with six seconds remaining, to make it 57-56. Then the Lady Pilots' Valerie Huizar
made two free throws for the final points, and Grant missed a 3-pointer from the
top of the key on the final possession.
Flowers finished with 12 points and Huizar 10 for LSUS,
which qualified for the NAIA's national tournament for the first time.
The Lady Pilots' three victories against Xavier were by an
average of 3.7 points.
Loyola advanced to the final by defeating fourth-seeded William Carey
Xavier, which entered the season with an active streak of
seven consecutive trips to the NAIA nationals and 13 in the past 14 seasons,
will learn Wednesday afternoon if it did enough to earn an at-large berth.
"It's going to be a close call," Xavier coach Bo Browder
said. "We had a team with no seniors go out and get 23 wins, and three of those were
against teams which qualified for nationals — Loyola, Langston and Berry.
We have a great tradition of making it to nationals. You can make a case for us
to get in again."