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Grant moves Gold Nuggets into GCAC semifinals
March 3, 2010

Box score

     NEW ORLEANS — Jasmine Grant scored nine of her 15 points in the final 2:49 Wednesday to help NAIA No. 20 Xavier University of Louisiana hold on for a 69-61 women's basketball victory over Belhaven in the quarterfinals of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament.
     The Gold Nuggets (26-5), seeded first in the tournament, extended their winning streak to 19 and will play at home in the semifinals against fourth-seeded Tougaloo at 7 p.m. Friday.
     Grant bailed out Xavier after eighth-seeded Belhaven (14-17) rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit to tie the score at 58 on Octavia Mullins' basket with 3:17 remaining. Grant answered with a 3-point play at 2:49 to give the Nuggets a 61-58 lead, then Belhaven's Jira Williams made her third 3-pointer for a tie at 61 at 2:22.
     But Belhaven never scored again. Xavier closed with an 8-0 run in which Grant — a 64-percent free-throw shooter entering the game — made 6-of-6 from the line. The Blazers committed a turnover and were 0-of-3 from the floor, including a pair of 3-point tries, and missed all three of their free throws in their final five possessions.
     "We rode (Grant) the whole time," Xavier Coach Bo Browder said. "She played like a champion tonight. She played like she's been there before.
     "She's won three state championships (at Shreveport's Southwood High School). She knows what time it is."
     Brittany Powell and Christina Warren added 12 points apiece for Xavier. Warren made a season-best three 3-pointers, all in the first half, and reached double figures for the first time in 13 games.
     Williams scored 17 points, Stasha Thomas 13 and Mullins 11 for Belhaven, which lost its final nine road games.
     Belhaven led twice for a combined 28 seconds, with the final lead coming on Mallory Hammack's 3-pointer at 8:05 of the first half to make it 23-22. Xavier led 34-32 at halftime, then extended it to 54-42 on Brandi Young's basket with 9:10 remaining.
     Xavier outshot the Blazers 44 to 39.7 percent from the floor and outrebounded them 36-29. The Nuggets made 20-of-21 free throws -- 17-of-18 in the second half -- and Belhaven was 7-of-13.
     Powell and Jazmoné Kelly grabbed eight rebounds apiece for Xavier, and Mullins had nine for Belhaven.
     The Nuggets' win streak is the second longest in program history, topped only by 22 consecutive victories in 1997-98. Xavier has won 16 straight and 31 of its last 32 meetings with Belhaven.
     The victory was the Nuggets' 10th in a row at The Barn and the 90th in their last 96 games there.
     Tougaloo, the Nuggets' Friday opponent, advanced with an 84-67 home victory against fifth-seeded William Carey. Tougaloo lost 64-61 and 51-44 to Xavier during the regular season.

 

 
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.

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Xavier University of Louisiana
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New Orleans, LA 70125
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