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Gold Nuggets clinch share of GCAC regular-season title
February 18, 2013

Box score

     TOUGALOO, Miss. — Whitney Gaston-Loyd scored 13 points Monday to lead NAIA No. 10 Xavier University of Louisiana in a 71-61 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women's basketball victory against Tougaloo.
     The Gold Nuggets (23-4 overall, 11-2 GCAC) clinched no worse than a share of their third consecutive GCAC regular-season championship. Xavier can win the title outright by defeating Dillard on Saturday afternoon in the regular-season finale. Talladega began the day tied with Xavier, but the Lady Tornadoes lost 67-64 at Philander Smith.
     Loyd was one of four from Xavier in double figures. SiMon Franklin scored 12 points, Danielle Tucker 11 and Carmen Holcombe 10. Holcombe led the Nuggets with six rebounds.
     Portia Craft scored 17 points for the Lady Bulldogs (17-9, 7-6), and Chasity Kearney and Kierra Addison scored 12 each. Kearney grabbed 12 rebounds.
     A 17-4 run gave Tougaloo its largest lead, 23-14, at 7:59 of the first half. But Franklin and reserve Jessica Savannah combined for 11 points to cut Tougaloo's advantage to 32-31 by halftime.
     Freshman Whitney Gathright's 3-pointer — the Gold Nuggets' 100th of the season — with 16:02 remaining put Xavier ahead to stay, 40-38, and the Nuggets made six consecutive field goals to take a 71-55 lead with 2:28 remaining. Loyd scored 11 second-half points.
     Xavier completed a regular-season sweep of Tougaloo and avenged a 59-51 loss at the Lady Bulldogs' Kroger Gym from last season.
     "It's never easy over here for us," XU coach Bo Browder said. "We made enough plays to win and shot very well at times in the second half."
     Xavier shot 50 percent from the floor in the second half and outshot Tougaloo 43.1 to 34.4 percent for the game. Tougaloo outrebounded the Gold Nuggets 42-39.
     The victory was the Gold Nuggets' 11th in a row — their best streak since 2010 — and the 47th in their last 51 GCAC regular-season games.
     Xavier and Dillard will meet for the 78th time at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Crosstown Classic at XU's new Convocation Center. Reserved tickets are available to the public for $5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Thursday at the Convocation Center box office.
     Talladega will play Edward Waters at home Saturday in its GCAC finale, and SUNO — also tied with Talladega and a game behind Xavier — will travel to Tougaloo that same day. The GCAC Tournament for women and men will begin Feb. 28 in Little Rock, Ark.


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, tennis and track and field and women's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis, track and field and volleyball.

Department of Intercollegiate Athletics
Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive
Campus Box 92
New Orleans, LA 70125
(504) 520-7329 phone
(504) 520-7934 fax

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