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Gold Nuggets beat Lee again, advance to second round

XU Coach Bo Browder

Coach Bo Browder
300 victories in 13 years


     March 16, 2011

Box score

     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

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.
     "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.


 

 
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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