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Nuggets to open against defending national champion
March 12, 2014

Bracket  (PDF file)

     NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana will play defending national champion Westmont in the opening round of the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship.
     The Gold Nuggets (23-9) and the Warriors (20-9) will meet at 9:45 p.m. next Wednesday (March 19) at Frankfort Convention Center in Frankfort, Ky. It will be the last of eight first-round games on the tournament's opening day.
     Xavier was ranked 20th and Westmont 13th in the coaches poll released earlier Wednesday. In tournament seedings, Westmont is one of four No. 4s, and Xavier is one of four No. 5s.
     The Gold Nuggets qualified for nationals for a fifth straight year, this time by beating Talladega 66-59 in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament championship game at Xavier on Sunday. Xavier leads NAIA Division I in 3-point field-goal percentage defense and is top-15 in three other categories.
     Sophomore guard Whitney Gathright (12.2) leads Xavier in scoring. Gathright and senior guard Paige Gauthier (8.5) were All-GCAC this season.
     Westmont tied for second in the Golden State Athletic Conference and received an at-large bid to nationals. The Warriors are top-10 nationally in assist/turnover ratio, scoring defense and 3-point field-goal percentage. Senior forward Kelsie Sampson (19.8) leads the Warriors in scoring, followed by junior guard Esther Lee at 13.3. Lee made 88 3-pointers this season and shot 38.8 percent from behind the arc.
     Six of the Warriors' losses are to teams in Wednesday's top 10.
     This will be the second meeting between Xavier and Westmont. The Gold Nuggets opened the 2006-07 season with a 79-72 overtime victory against the Warriors in Las Vegas.
     The Xavier-Westmont winner will play Campbellsville or Southern Poly at 2:15 p.m. Friday. Campbellsville is a No. 1 seed and was fourth in the coaches poll.


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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