November 23, 2002
Ryan Gallagher, <i>Hullabaloo</i> Staff Writer
Ranked No. 21 in the latest NAIA women's basketball poll, Xavier University's women's basketball team provided a challenging task for the Green Wave in its final exhibition game last Sunday at Fogelman Arena. Led by senior forward Gwen Slaughter, who scored 15 points and chipped in ten rebounds, the Wave defeated the Gold Nuggets of Xavier 80-66. Midway through the second half of play, the Wave ripped off 10 unanswered points to expand its lead to 54-37 with 12:57 remaining in the game.
Sophomore guard Kenya Lennix, who contributed 13 points and four rebounds in the winning effort, made two lay-ups, while Slaughter hit three free throws during the run. Senior forward Britt Themann capped off the scoring outburst with a three-pointer from the baseline. Tulane led by as many as 24 points in the second half as the defense forced 21 Gold Nugget turnovers, which the Wave converted into 31 points. The Wave looked rusty at times in the first half.
After jumping out early to a 12-4 lead, Tulane allowed Xavier back in the game with some reckless play on the offensive side of the board.
"I felt early in the game our shot selection wasn't very good, and I didn't feel like we really came out and played some defense," Wave Coach Lisa Stockton said. "Once those two things started coming together, I thought we were much better."
Leading 41-31 at the break, Tulane shut down Xaviers offensive attack, holding the Gold Nuggets to 20 of 62 field goals for the game. The Wave shot a blistering 46 percent from the field in the second half while limiting Xavier to just three three-point field goals.
"Coach came into the locker room and said, We need to pick it up," Lennix said. "In the second half, we were more aggressive."
Playing without the inside presence of junior center Kaisha Lymon and sophomore forward Laketha Hampton, the Wave was out-rebounded 40- 39. Junior guard Kelly Nadeau posted 13 points, five steals, three assists and three rebounds, while senior center Teana McKiver scored 10 points, grabbed five rebounds and blocked five shots in only 18 minutes of play.
Guard Portia Jones led the way for Xavier, scoring 16 points in the losing effort. Stockton was pleased with the overall effort the Wave put forth in the exhibition.
"It was great to see some of the different defensive looks from Xavier," Stockton said. "They were mixing up their defense, which is good for us to see. They are probably more along than most Division I teams because they have been practicing so long." Tonight's season opener will be held at James Madison University with tip-of scheduled for 6 p.m.
The Wave's home opener, against Alabama State, will be held at 7 p.m., Dec. 5 in Fogelman Arena.
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 firstname.lastname@example.org