Gold Nuggets use fast start to foil Fisk in GCAC quarters
March 1, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — SiMon Franklin scored 12
points Thursday, and NAIA No. 20 Xavier University of Louisiana used two
first-half runs to roll to a 73-49 women's basketball victory against Fisk
in the quarterfinals of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament.
The Gold Nuggets (23-8), the tournament's No. 1 seed
and two-time defending champion, won their fifth in a row and for the 16th time
in 19 games. They'll play fifth-seeded Tougaloo in the
semifinals at 2 p.m. EST Friday.
Xavier outscored the Lady Bulldogs 13-2 in the
first four minutes — Franklin opened the scoring with a 3-pointer,
and Jasmine Grant made two more — then the Nuggets used a 21-0 burst
which covered nearly nine minutes to take a 36-6 lead at 5:05.
"That was a great start for us," said 13th-year XU
coach Browder, who won in the quarterfinals for the 10th straight time.
"Hopefully we can start fast every game the rest of the season."
The Nuggets' 39-15 halftime lead was their largest
at the break since a 39-11 advantage at home against Concordia (Ala.) on Jan. 6, 2011.
Franklin, an All-GCAC guard, led the Nuggets in
scoring for the eighth time this season and reached double figures for the
17th time to tie Keldra Hall for the team lead. She was 5-of-7 from the floor
with three rebounds, two assists, two steals and zero turnovers in 18 minutes. She was Xavier's only
double-figure scorer, but 14 Nuggets scored.
Grant scored nine points — she made 3-of-9
3-pointers, giving her 69 made for the season and 189 in four years —
and Carmen Holcombe and Brandi Young scored eight apiece. Xavier made five
3-pointers in the first 13 minutes and finished with seven, one less than its
Reserve point guard Paige Gauthier led Xavier with
six assists and five rebounds.
Lynette Waters scored 15 points, 10 in the second
half, and Tiffany Wynn 10 for eighth-seeded Fisk (4-25), which finished the
season with a 10-game losing streak.
Fisk outshot Xavier 41.3 to 39.1 percent from the
floor, but the Nuggets were plus-11 in turnovers — Fisk committed 25,
Xavier 14 — and had a 39-34 rebound advantage. Fisk dressed just seven
players, and Xavier had a 36-4 advantage in bench scoring. The Nuggets
committed a season-low 11 fouls and produced 17 steals.
Tougaloo, a 69-53 winner against fourth-seeded Dillard,
and Xavier split their two regular-season meetings.
NOTES: Xavier is 13-1 all-time in GCAC
quarterfinal games. The Nuggets had a bye in the 2011 quarterfinals, when the
conference had six members . . . Grant, an All-GCAC guard, and Young led the Nuggets
with three steals
apiece. Grant became the 20th XU female to reach 200 steals in a career, and
Young improved her career total to 197. Jazmoné Kelly had two steals and is
ninth all-time with 236.