Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Nuggets slip to their lowest ranking of the season

NEW ORLEANS — Dropping 2-of-3 games, including a first-ever loss to Edward Waters, helped send Xavier University of Louisiana to its lowest position of 2015-16 in the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll.
The Gold Nuggets were tied for 30th place, down four spots, among the 33 teams receiving three-or-more points Tuesday. Xavier has victories this season against five teams ranked ahead of it, including No. 1 Our Lady of the Lake and No. 9 Shawnee State in November, but six losses in the last 11 games have put Xavier on the bubble in its bid to return to the national tournament for the first time since 2014.
Xavier began this past week with a 70-62 victory against SUNO, then lost 67-57 at Loyola — which climbed to 24th nationally — and 60-47 at Edward Waters.
Xavier, 18-11 overall and tied for second in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference at 6-5, will close its regular season Saturday in a 3 p.m. matchup with city and GCAC rival Dillard at Dillard's Dent Hall. The Lady Bleu Devils helped knocked the Gold Nuggets out of the top 25 with a 57-52 victory Feb. 6 at Xavier.
GCAC regular-season champion Talladega, which did not play this past week, dropped from 14th to 15th. Our Lady of the Lake received all nine first-place votes and tops the rankings for the fourth consecutive week.
The GCAC Tournament will be played March 4-6 in New Orleans, with first-round games at SUNO (women) and Dillard (men) and all semifinals and finals at Xavier's Convocation Center.

NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses — records through Feb. 21)

1 Our Lady of the Lake (9)24-22191
2Westmont 24-32122
3Bethel (Tenn.)24-52027
5Campbellsville 23-61784
6The Master's23-417610
7Columbia (Mo.)25-31743
8Vanguard 19-51736
9Shawnee State24-51629
10MidAmerica Nazarene22-51605
11Freed-Hardeman 22-6150 12
12Lewis-Clark State23-414911
13Central Methodist24-2141tie-15
14Wayland Baptist20-412913
16Montana State-Northern21-611317
17Oklahoma City 16-7101 18
18Benedictine (Kan.)24-49620
19Lindsey Wilson22-59522
20Carroll (Mont.)19-789tie-15
23Great Falls19-96824


Dropped from rankings:  None

Others receiving votes:  Auburn Montgomery 40, Baker 39, Martin Methodist 24, Huston-Tillotson 13, Xavier 11,, Georgetown (Ky.) 11, Culver-Stockton 7, Cumberland (Tenn.) 3

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

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