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Gathright, Gauthier lead Nuggets to GCAC title game
March 8, 2014

Box score

     NEW ORLEANS — All-conference guards Whitney Gathright and Paige Gauthier combined for 47 points Saturday to lead NAIA No. 24 Xavier University of Louisiana to an 84-73 women's basketball victory against Tougaloo in the semifinals of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament at XU's Convocation Center.
     The Gold Nuggets (22-9), the tournament's No. 2 seed, won their fifth in a row and reached the championship game for the fourth time in five years. They'll play 16th-ranked and top-seeded Talladega, a 76-71 semifinal winner against Philander Smith, for the title at 3 p.m. Sunday at Xavier.
     Gathright made 4-of-6 3-pointers and scored 24 points, and Gauthier had 23 points — a career high — eight rebounds and five assists. They combined for all the XU points in a 12-3 run to close the game after Tougaloo (12-16) cut its deficit to 72-70 on Re'Yada Stinner's 3-pointer with 2:43 remaining.
     Chasity Kearney had 29 points and 18 rebounds, and GCAC Player of the Year Portia Craft scored 16 points for Tougaloo. The Lady Bulldogs, who were seeded sixth and upset third-seeded SUNO on Friday, lost in the semifinals to Xavier for the second time in three years.
     Tougaloo scored the first six points and led 27-17 after Craft's two free throws at 9:17, then Gauthier and Gathright combined for 12 points in a 21-5 run which covered 7 minutes and gave the Nuggets the lead for good.
     In the first semifinal, Ryven Jackson, Jamie Robinson and Ashawnte Hawkins combined for all the points in Talladega's decisive 15-4 run in the final seven minutes. The Lady Tornadoes (26-3) turned a 62-59 deficit into a 74-66 lead with 47 seconds remaining.
     Jackson had 22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Robinson had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Hawkins scored 14. Jerricka Scott had 28 points and 19 rebounds for fourth-seeded Philander Smith (18-14).


 

 
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.

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