Patriots eliminate Nuggets, end their win streak at 21
March 18, 2010
JACKSON, Tenn. — Sophomore guard Lauren Wombles
scored half of her 22 points in overtime Thursday to lead Cumberlands to a 67-62
women's basketball victory over Xavier University of Louisiana in the opening
round of the NAIA Division I National Championship.
The Patriots (26-8) ended the 21-game winning streak
of the Gold Nuggets (28-6) and advanced to an 8 p.m. Friday game against St.
Xavier, an 81-71 winner against Evangel.
Wombles scored 11 of the Patriots' 15 overtime points,
and her 3-point play with 3:56 remaining put them ahead to stay at 57-55. She
made all five of her overtime free throws and capped a 9-for-9 performance by
making two with six seconds remaining.
Lauren Martin and Stephanie Quattrociocchi added 15
points apiece for Cumberlands, the No. 4 seed in the eight-team quadrant of this event.
Brittany Powell, the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
Player of the Year, led fifth-seeded Xavier with 16 points and nine rebounds
in her final collegiate game but committed three fouls in the final 7:10 of
regulation, including her fifth at 2:08 with the Nuggets leading by a point.
Xavier had possession and a 45-41 lead in the 37th
minute, but Cumberlands forced a turnover to start an 11-4 run which Haley
Ratliff capped with two free throws to give the Patriots a 52-49 lead with
20 seconds remaining. But LaTashia Wise, the other Xavier senior, made a 3-pointer
from the top of the key with 12.1 seconds remaining to tie the score and force
Wise finished with 13 points and eight
rebounds — she scored five points in overtime — and SiMon Franklin added 11
points for the Nuggets.
Jasmine Grant, the Nuggets' best 3-point shooter,
made her only trey of the game at 4:12 for the Nuggets' only lead of overtime, 55-54.
Quattrociocchi's basket at 2:41 gave Cumberlands a
61-57 lead and a two-possession advantage for the rest of the game.
Neither team shot 40 percent from the floor, although
the Nuggets shot 48.6 percent after halftime to finish at 38.3, slightly better
than the Patriots' 35.4. Xavier, the NAIA DI leader in scoring defense, limited
one of the most prolific perimeter teams to 3-of-20 from 3-point range.
But the Nuggets, who finished the season making a
school-record 72.8 percent of their free throws, made only 12-of-23 against
Cumberland. They missed seven free throws en route to a 21-19 halftime lead.
Powell scored all her points in the second half —
6-of-7 from the floor and 4-of-4 from the line — and gave Xavier its
biggest lead, 43-36, on a basket at 6:33.
The overtime game was the Nuggets' first since January
2008, and it was their first loss in five overtime games dating to 2006.
Cumberland prevented Xavier from tying school records for
consecutive victories and victories in a season. The Nuggets' six losses were by a combined
18 points, and their final three losses were to Mid-South Conference teams which
qualified for nationals.
Xavier is 0-5 in the first round and has dropped six
straight at nationals since defeating Trevecca Nazarene in the 2003 first round.