Gold Nuggets survive Loyola comeback, win 7th in a row
January 25, 2010
NEW ORLEANS — Brittany Powell scored 26 points,
including the go-ahead basket with 2:30 remaining, to help Xavier University of
Louisiana hold off city rival Loyola for a 60-55 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
women's basketball victory Monday.
The win was a season-high seventh in a row for the
Gold Nuggets (14-5 overall, 7-0 GCAC), who squandered an 18-point second-half
lead before beating the three-time defending GCAC regular-season champion.
Powell's final points came after Loyola's Trenese
Smith made two free throws at 2:59 to cap a 22-4 rally. But from that point
the Wolfpack (10-7, 4-3) went scoreless in its final five possessions, which
included four turnovers and two missed field-goal attempts.
Jasmine Grant added 11 points and a career-best seven
assists for Xavier, which leads the GCAC by two games over LSU-Shreveport and
William Carey. Loyola, which began the day in a four-way tie for second place,
dropped into a tie for fourth with Tougaloo.
Smith, a three-time GCAC Player of the Year, and Keiva
Council scored 16 points apiece for Loyola, and Rachael Nolan had 11. Smith
scored nine points during the Wolfpack's rally.
Xavier, led by Powell's 16 first-half points, took
a 34-23 lead at the break and grabbed its biggest lead, 51-33, on Powell's basket
with 10:58 remaining.
Both teams shot less than 40 percent from the floor,
and Xavier had a 40-31 rebound advantage. Powell grabbed eight rebounds in the
first half and finished with a season-high 11.
It was the third consecutive game of more than 25 points
for Powell, who has scored 82 during that time to raise her season scoring average
from 12.5 to 14.8.
Xavier has won 51 of its past 53 GCAC games at The Barn,
including the past six.
Xavier's next game will start at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at The Barn
against GCAC opponent Belhaven.