No. 9 Xavier Tops No. 12 Bethel in Double Overtime
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Junior guard Andraquay Quinnine scored six of her career-high 18 points in extra periods to help Xavier University of Louisiana earn a 75-67 double-overtime victory against Bethel (Tenn.) in a matchup of ranked NAIA Division I women's basketball teams Wednesday.
The Gold Nuggets (10-2), ranked ninth, never trailed in earning their third victory against ranked opponents, their most in a regular season since 2002-03.
Paige Gauthier had a career-high 14 points, a career-high-tying eight rebounds, a season-high seven assists and four steals for Xavier. Carmen Holcombe scored a season-high 12 points -- her first game of the year in double-figures -- and grabbed seven rebounds.
Alisha Gentry scored a season-high 23 points for 12th-ranked Bethel (12-3). Jasmine Taylor scored 15 points, and Perica Glenn matched her season highs of 13 points and 14 rebounds. Gentry made 4-of-9 3-pointers, but her teammates were a collective 0-of-16.
Gauthier scored 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in a 13-2 run during the final 2:49, to give Xavier a 36-24 halftime lead. But after Quinnine's 3-point play with 18;48 remaining gave the Nuggets their largest lead, 39-26, Bethel used a 15-2 run to tie the score at 41 at 11:37. Xavier led 57-52 and had possession in the 38th minute, but Bethel rallied again, with Gentry's 3-pointer with 21 seconds remaining capping a 7-1 run which tied the score at 58 and sent the teams to overtime.
Xavier missed two shots in the final 20 seconds of the first overtime after Gentry's basket gave the Lady Wildcats their fourth and final tie at 64 with 48 seconds remaining. The Nuggets outscored Bethel 11-3 in the second overtime and never lost the lead after Whitney Gaston-Loyd's basket at 4:25 and Paige Rochelle's two free throws -- her only points of the game -- at 3:25. Bethel's Lorna Hudson scored a 3-point play at 2:21 to cut the margin to 68-67, but Xavier scored the final seven points, all on free throws.
"It was a very good game with two ranked teams fighting it out," said Bo Browder, whose teams are 8-3 in overtime during his 14 seasons as XU's head coach. "I was pleased with our effort. Any time you win in double overtime, that's special. Winning in double overtime says your team is tough."
It was Xavier's first overtime game since January 2011, its first overtime victory since January 2008 and its first home overtime game since January 2007. It was the Nuggets' first multiple-overtime game since a 70-67 double-OT victory at city rival Dillard on Jan. 29, 2000.
The teams combined for 52 fouls and 55 turnovers, and each had two starters foul out. All-Gulf Coast Athletic Conference guard SiMon Franklin, the Nuggets' season scoring leader, fouled out at 1:58 of the second half with six points on 3-of-9 from the floor. But Browder said he wasn't concerned.
"We don't count on one person to win," Browder said. "Everybody knows that."
Xavier shot 33.9 percent from the floor -- the 10th time this season the Nuggets finished at less than 40 percent -- but limited Bethel to 31.4 percent. The Nuggets scored a rare victory at the line, making a season-high 29 free throws -- one less than the school record -- in 34 attempts. Bethel made 19-of-32. Xavier made 11-of-12 free throws in overtime. For the game, Holcombe made 8-of-8 free throws, Quinnine made 8-of-9, and Gauthier was 4-of-4. It was the second consecutive game and the fourth time this season that the Nuggets finished at 85 percent or higher.
Xavier won for the eighth time in nine games at its new Convocation Center, which opened Nov. 3, and for the 48th time in its past 51 home games.
Xavier, the two-time defending GCAC regular-season champion, will open its conference schedule at 3 p.m. EST Saturday against Edward Waters in Jacksonville, Fla. The next home game wll start at 5 p.m. on Jan. 12 against Tougaloo.