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In the Mississippi Valley,
In the Crescent Bend
Stands our loved and noble Xavier,
Far her praises send.
Wave her colors bear them onward
Gold and white so true
Hail to thee, all hail, dear Xavier
Hail, all hail, X.U.!
Xavier, ever be our guide
And lead us on the way,
Through life's journey, onward, upward
To the eternal day. (Refrain)
Gold Nuggets beat Lee again, advance to second round
to carry Xavier to a 33-22 halftime lead. Brandi Young's
basket with 14:13 remaining gave Xavier its biggest lead, 39-22, and
the Nuggets pulled away with a 10-4 run after Lee closed to 53-49 at 4:38.
Coach Bo Browder
300 victories in 13 years
March 16, 2011
JACKSON, Tenn. — Senior forward Christina Warren scored 19 points
Wednesday, and Xavier University of Louisiana's defense excelled again in a 63-53 victory
over Lee (Tenn.) in the opening round of the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball
National Championship at Oman Arena.
The Gold Nuggets (27-6), ranked 20th in the final
coaches' poll, defeated the 13th-ranked Lady Flames (25-7) by double digits for
the second time this season and limited them to 29.4-percent field-goal shooting.
Xavier entered the tournament No. 1 in scoring defense in NAIA Division I and
fourth in field-goal percentage defense.
Xavier will play fourth-ranked Oklahoma City, an 87-45
winner against Montana Tech, in the second round at 10:45 a.m. Friday.
Warren, the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Player of
the Year, scored 15 points
"I wasn't concerned about finishing this game," XU Coach
Bo Browder said, "because we had a good learning experience at nationals last year."
Last year Xavier led Cumberlands 43-36 in the 34th minute before
losing 67-62 in overtime in the opening round at nationals. This time the
Nuggets led for the final 34:26 and took the lead for good on a Marchelle Jones basket.
Jones had 14 points, including 8-of-8 free
throws, five rebounds and two steals, and Young had 13 points, four
rebounds and a career-high-tying six steals.
The Nuggets ended a five-game first-round losing streak at
nationals — the last victory had been 64-55 against Trevecca Nazarene
in 2003 — and gave Browder his 300th victory a head-coach at four-year colleges.
Browder is 298-101 in 12 seasons at Xavier, and he was 2-8 as Evansville's interim
head coach to close the 1995-96 season.
"It's good to end the drought," Browder said. "That's been
the million-dollar question — when are the Nuggets going to win
at nationals again? It's always great to make it to nationals, but it's extremely
difficult to win once you get there. Winning games at nationals is like getting some dessert."
Senior guard Brooke McKinnon, the Southern States Athletic
Conference Co-Player of the Year, was 4-of-13 from the floor and scored 12 points
for Lee, an NAIA semifinalist a year ago and in its seventh consecutive appearance
at nationals. McKinnon was the Lady Flames' only double-figure scorer.
Xavier shot 44.2 percent the floor — the Nuggets' third-best
percentage in 20 games at nationals and their best since 1997 — and produced
defensive stands in which Lee missed 12 and 10 consecutive field-goal attempts.
Xavier has limited 15 opponents this season, including the last three, to less
than 30 percent from the floor.
"Lee has a great program," Browder said. "They weren't going
to give anything to us. We had to go out and earn it."
Xavier's next opponent, Oklahoma City, was No. 2 in the
coaches poll for most of the season and was the Sooner Athletic Conference regular-season
champion. No Gold Nuggets team has reached the quarterfinals, and Oklahoma teams
eliminated XU three of the previous four times in the second round — including a 91-53 Oklahoma
City victory in 2003.
NOTES: Lee entered the game No. 3 in NAIA
Division I in scoring defense . . . Xavier reached 27 victories for the third time
in four seasons . . . It's the fourth time in Louisiana collegiate history
that the same school produced men's and women's basketball teams with 27 victories apiece
in the same season. LSU did it in 2005-06, and Louisiana Tech did it in 1983-84
and 1984-85 . . . The Xavier-Oklahoma City winner will play in the quarterfinals
at 2 p.m. Saturday against California Baptist or Shawnee State . . . Xavier has
won 20 straight games — 13 this season — when shooting at least 40 percent
from the floor and outerebounding the opponent in the same game.