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Brittany Powell

Brittany Powell

     When it comes to awards,
XU's Powell is most four-tunate
January 27, 2010

     NEW ORLEANS — Brittany Powell's awards collection has grown considerably this month and exponentially this week.
     The Xavier University of Louisiana women's basketball standout has received four player-of-the-week awards in three days after averaging 28 points in two Gold Nuggets victories.
     On Monday Powell was chosen Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week by the league's sports information directors and Louisiana Player of the Week by a Louisiana Sports Writers Association panel. On Tuesday she was
named NAIA Division I Player of the Week, and Wednesday she was the Division II winner in the Heritage Sports Radio Network National Player of the Week Fan Poll with nearly 70 percent of the online vote.
     It was the second straight week and the third time in four weeks that Powell won the GCAC award and the second straight week she won the Heritage Sports honor. Powell also won the Louisiana award in December 2008, but the NAIA national award is a first for the 6-foot senior forward/center from Milwaukee and graduate of Divine Savior Holy Angels High School.
     "I'm pretty sure it's the first time any of my players won the NAIA award," said Bo Browder, in his 11th season as the Gold Nuggets' coach. "The way BP has been playing, she just might win it again."
     Powell leads the team with 14.8 points per game, but her past three games have been remarkable: 29 points at Mobile, 27 at home against William Carey — those are the Nuggets' top two individual totals of the past six seasons — and 26 points and a season-best 11 rebounds Monday in a home victory against Loyola, the three-time defending GCAC regular-season champion. Powell's basket against Loyola with 2:30 remaining put Xavier ahead to stay.
     After averaging 9.7 points and 4.9 rebounds and shooting 45 percent from the floor in the first seven games this season, Powell has averaged 17.8 points and six rebounds, shot 59 percent from the floor and 80 percent from the line in the past 12 games. The free-throw percentage is comparable to her early-season stats, but Powell has nearly doubled her free-throw attempts since Christimas.
     "I'm shooting free throws a lot better," Powell said. "I've gotten a lot better finishing around the basket. I'm just working more to get open."
     Powell says another factor in her recent success was encouragement from teammates at a players-only "come-to-Jesus meeting" — that was Powell's description — before the first GCAC game.
     "I was always hearing from my coaches how much they wanted me and needed me to play well," Powell said. "I had never heard it from my teammates until that meeting."
     That meeting has been good for many. After losing five times by an average of 2.6 points in the final six games before the conference schedule, the Nuggets (14-5) have won their first seven GCAC games and climbed to No. 23 in the NAIA Division I Coaches' Top 25 poll. They hold a two-game lead over LSU-Shreveport and William Carey entering Thursday's 5:30 p.m. GCAC game against Belhaven at The Barn.
     Powell led the Nuggets with 11.8 points per game and was second with 6.1 rebounds in 2008-09, her first at Xavier after transferring from NCAA Division I San Jose State. She was Xavier's lone All-GCAC selection and an honorable-mention NAIA D-I All-American.
     "BP did a nice job for us last year," Browder said. "But I've felt all along that she's capable of a lot more."

 

 
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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