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Xavier beat Talladega 66-59 for the GCAC Tournamwnr championship

The Gold Nuggets proudly show off their championship hardware after defeating Talladega 66-59.

Nuggets win GCAC Tournament for 4th time in 5 years
March 9, 2014

Box score

     NEW ORLEANS — Senior center Whitney Gaston-Loyd scored seven of her 17 points in a closing run which carried Xavier University of Louisiana to a 66-59 women's basketball victory Sunday against Talladega in the championship game of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament at XU's Convocation Center.
     The Gold Nuggets (23-9) won the tournament for the fourth time in five years and defeated the Lady Tornadoes (26-4) in the final for the second time in three years. Xavier is ranked 24th in NAIA Division I and was the tournament's No. 2 seed; Talladega is ranked 16th and was top-seeded.
     Xavier earned the GCAC's automatic bid to the NAIA Division I National Championship, which will begin March 19 in Frankfort, Ky. Pairings, seedings and game times will be announced Wednesday. The Gold Nuggets will play in the opening round March 19 or 20; it will be their 18th appearance at nationals in the last 20 seasons.
     Talladega led 53-48 after an Ella Rodriguez basket with 8:13 remaining, but the Gold Nuggets closed with an 18-6 run. Danielle Tucker passed to Chelsea Broussard for a basket with 5:19 remaining to put Xavier ahead to stay, 58-57, and Gaston-Loyd scored five of Xavier's final six points in the final 3:01.
     Tucker scored 15 points, which matched her season high, and had eight rebounds, four assists, a block and two steals. Chelsea Broussard scored a career-high 13 points for Xavier, and Whitney Gathright scored 12.
     Arielle George and Jamie Robinson scored 16 points apiece for Talladega, and Jordin Feldman scored 10. Robinson grabbed 14 rebounds, and Feldman had eight.
     Gathright, who averaged 16 points in three games, was named the tournament's most valuable player. XU's Tucker and Paige Gauthier were named all-tournament, as were Talladega's Robinson and Ryven Jackson and Tougaloo's Chasity Kearney.
     It was the second straight day that Xavier trailed by double digits in the first half. Arielle George's basket gave Talladega a 22-11 lead at 6:16, but Xavier rallied to cut the Lady Tornadoes' lead to 30-27 by halftime.
     It was the third GCAC Tournament championship for seniors Gauthier, Broussard and Carmen Holcombe.
     "This championship is nothing different from the others," Gauthier said. "This team cares about each other and fights for each other, just like the other teams did. That's what it comes down to — family. We weren't going to let somebody come in and take something from us."
     Xavier, 2-0 this season against Talladega, extended its home win streak to 19. The Gold Nuggets were 13-0 at home this 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, 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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