XU rallies past Shorter in matchup of ranked NAIA teams
December 3, 2011
NEW ORLEANS — Brandi Young scored 10 of her 12
points in the second half Saturday to help Xavier University of Louisiana
rally for a 56-51 women's basketball victory against Shorter.
The Gold Nuggets (7-3), ranked 16th in NAIA Division
I, won their third in a row and gave the 21st-ranked Lady Hawks (8-1) their first
loss of the season.
Xavier never led in the first half and trailed 31-28 at
halftime, then took the lead for good with a 13-1 run in the first 3˝ minutes of
the second half. Young, Jazmoné Kelly and Jasmine Grant made two baskets apiece
during the burst, with Young's 2-pointer giving Xavier its largest lead, 41-32,
with 16:55 remaining.
Grant and SiMon Franklin scored 10 points apiece for
Xavier, which defeated a ranked opponent for the first time in three tries this season.
Kelly Ellison, the NAIA leader in assists per game,
had 14 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and three steals for Shorter.
Robyn Foster had 12 points, five rebounds and four assists, and Brittney
Smith had 10 points, six rebounds, two blocked shots and three steals. Ellison
and Foster each made three 3-pointers.
Shorter was within one point of Xavier on three occasions
in the final 14 minutes, the last at 50-49 when Abbie Daniel made the second of
two technical free throws. Young answered with a basket for a 52-49 lead,
followed by a Shorter turnover and three XU offensive rebounds before Chelsea
Broussard scored for a 54-49 Xavier advantage with 3:01 to play.
Smith scored Shorter's final two points with 2:04
remaining. Ellison committed a turnover and missed the front end of a 1-and-1
in the Lady Hawks' next two possessions before Franklin clinched the game with
two free throws with seven seconds remaining.
Xavier outshot Shorter 35.8 to 33.9 percent from the
floor and offset the Lady Hawks' eight 3-pointers by outscoring them 15-5 in
free throws. Xavier had a 38-33 rebound advantage, with Kelly grabbing eight.
Franklin and Kelly had five steals apiece, with Franklin recording a career
high and Kelly matching her season best.
The Gold Nuggets will break for fall semester
examinations, then resume their schedule Dec. 17 with a 2 p.m. game at city rival Loyola.