Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Talladega gives Nuggets 1st home loss of season

NEW ORLEANS — Shakeena Benton scored 12 points and sparked a late rally which lifted NAIA No. 19 Talladega to a 62-55 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women's basketball victory against 20th-ranked Xavier University of Louisiana.
The Lady Tornadoes (16-3, 4-0) won their sixth straight and gave the Gold Nuggets (14-8, 3-3) their first home loss of the season.
Xavier led 50-49 after Whitney Gathright made two free throws with 5:43 remaining, then Benton scored half of the Lady Tornadoes' points during a 10-1 run which gave them a 59-51 lead at 1:44. Benton's 3-pointer at 4:17 put Talladega ahead to stay, 53-50, and she capped the surge with two free throws.
Ashley Burchfield and Tashieba Henry scored 10 points apiece for Talladega, and Latisha Brown had nine points, nine rebounds and three steals.
Freshman Keira Robinson, playing for the first time in six games, had 13 points, six rebounds and a career-high three steals for Xavier. Gathright had 11 points, seven rebounds and six rebounds.
Xavier, which is 8-1 at home this season, led 28-26 at halftime.
Talladega outshot Xavier 46.7 to 28.1 percent from the floor, 47.8 to 19.4 percent in the second half. The Gold Nuggets were plus-10 in turnovers, committing 14 and gaining 24.
Gathright, a senior point guard, became the 16th Gold Nugget to reach 1,200 career points. She has 1,206. Donyeah Mayfield's 3-pointer at 3:03 of the third quarter made her the second Gold Nugget to reach 20 3-pointers and 20 blocked shots in the same season. Mayfield, a senior forward, has 20 treys and 26 blocks in 21 games. Antasha Jones made 21 3-pointers and blocked 23 shots for Xavier in 36 games in 1996-97.
Xavier will visit GCAC and city rival SUNO at 5:30 p.m. next Monday.


Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director


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