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Gold Nuggets build big lead, hold on for 55-49 victory
December 17, 2010

Box score

     LAKELAND, Fla. — Marchelle Jones scored 10 of her career-high 15 points in the second half Friday, and NAIA No. 15 Xavier University of Louisiana held on for a 55-49 women's basketball victory over Southeastern (Fla.)
     Xavier (12-2) won its third in a row and for the 33rd time in 36 games but withstood a second-half challenge from Southeastern (2-6), an NAIA Division II member which made 7-of-7 3-pointers in the final 18:50 to whittle XU's 18-point lead to three.
     The Gold Nuggets handled the pressure, scoring on their final four possessions, including 7-of-7 free throws in the final 90 seconds. Jones made four of those free throws and was a career-best 8-of-8 from the line.
     Christina Warren added 13 points, 11 in the first half, for Xavier, and Keldra Hall grabbed a career-high-tying 11 rebounds.
     Tori Robison, with 15 points, was Southeastern's only double-figure scorer. Robison and teammate Breckley Neale each made a trio of 3-pointers in the second half.
     Xavier outscored the Lady Fire 9-0 in the first 4˝ minutes, then produced a 13-0 run in the final 8˝ minutes for a 25-9 halftime lead. Jones scored on the Gold Nuggets' first possession of the second half to give them their biggest lead, 27-9. But Robinson and Neale made 3-pointers to start an 11-0 Southeastern run, and another Neale trey at 13:06 kept the margin in single digits the rest of the game.
     Ashley Wilson's 3-pointer at 3:07 cut Xavier's lead to 44-41, but a Jazmoné Kelly basket extended the Gold Nuggets' advantage to 46-41. Casey Jensen's basket at 1:49 made it 46-43, but a 3-point play 19 seconds later by freshman Angelica Alexander — her only points of the game — gave Xavier a 49-43 lead. Southeastern kept firing from long distance, with Robison and Neale making 3-pointers in the final 32 seconds, but those were sandwiched around the Nuggets' perfect foul shooting.
     Southeastern, thanks to 13-of-17 from the floor in the second half, outshot Xavier 47 to 32 percent for the game. But the Gold Nuggets outrebounded the Lady Fire 35-28 and had a 16-1 advantage in steals. XU made 13-of-17 in free throws, and Southeastern was 7-of-14.
     "Our defense was great the first half," Xavier Coach Bo Browder said. "I thought we had a chance to hold Southeastern to 30 for the game. Certainly under 40. But that wasn't the case. We've got to get better at closing teams out. We've had some good first halves, but we've got to play just as solid after halftime."
     Xavier will play NAIA No. 13 William Woods at 2 p.m. EST Saturday at Webber International's Sabbagh Athletic Center in Babson Park, Fla. William Woods was 10-0 entering a Friday-night game at Webber and will be Xavier's third top-15 opponent this season. It will be the Gold Nuggets third game in as many days before they break for Christmas.
     "We've just got to pray and keep working," Browder said, "because we've got a dogfight tomorrow."


 

 
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 teams in basketball, cross country and tennis and women's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis and volleyball.

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New Orleans, LA 70125
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