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Union keeps Gold Nuggets winless in NAIA second round
March 16, 2012

Box score

     FRANKFORT, Ky. — Second-ranked Union (Tenn.) overcame a 13-point deficit to earn a 58-43 women's basketball victory Friday against 18th-ranked Xavier University of Louisiana in the second round of the NAIA Division I National Championship.
     The Lady Bulldogs (33-2) got 14 points from Shelby Ashcraft and 13 points and 13 rebounds from Lavanda Ross to extend their win streak to 17 games and reach the quarterfinals for the ninth consecutive season. Union won national championships in 1998, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010 and was runner-up three times, including 2011.
     Jasmine Grant scored 12 points for the Gold Nuggets (26-9), whose eight-game win streak ended. Xavier is 0-7 in the second round at nationals.
     Xavier made its first three 3-point attempts — two by Grant and the other by Brandi Young — and led 13-0 after Keldra Hall's basket at 15:09 of the first half.
     Union answered with a 19-2 run and went ahead to stay, 17-15, on a Ross 3-pointer at 7:46. The Lady Bulldogs led 29-21 at halftime and held their biggest advantage, 56-36, after Amy Philamlee's two free throws with 2:31 remaining.
     Union led by double digits for the final 13:49. Xavier closed to 32-26 on Young's 3-point play with 17:58 remaining, but the Lady Bulldogs scored the next 11 points.
     Union outshot Xavier 38.8 to 30.4 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Nuggets 37-33. Xavier made 2-of-16 3-pointers after its opening run.
     "It was a great start for us," XU coach Bo Browder said, "but after the first five minutes we struggled to score."
     One day after scoring their most points at nationals since 1997, the Nuggets scored their fewest ever at this tournament.
     Union will play unranked Biola, a 73-58 winner against 10th-ranked Langston, in the quarterfinals at 8 p.m. EDT Saturday. Also advancing to the quarterfinals were top-ranked Oklahoma City, No. 4 Westmont, No. 5 Lubbock Christian and the defending champion, No. 9 Azusa Pacific.
     NOTES:  It was the final XU game for seniors Grant, Young (six points, four rebounds), Keldra Hall (six points, six rebounds), Jazmoné Kelly (no points but five rebounds and three assists) and Danielle Kennebrew (five points, five rebounds) . . . Paige Gauthier made the final XU 3-pointer with 2:24 remaining, giving the Nuggets 167 for the season to tie the school record of 2003-04 team . . . The Nuggets are 7-16 in 16 trips to nationals. Browder's teams are 3-11 in 11 appearances . . . Xavier and Union are among nine teams to win first-round games in 2011 and 2012. The others are Azusa Pacific, Langston, Lewis-Clark State, Lubbock Christian, Oklahoma City, Shawnee State and Westminster (Utah) . . . This is the final NAIA women's basketball tournament for Union, which will begin the transition to NCAA Division II next season. Southern Nazarene, Xavier's first-round opponent, will begin that same transition next season.


 

 
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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