The Spring Hill College women's basketball team found itself down 23-9 after 10 minutes of the first period and was forced to accept a 70-45 loss at the hands of the Xavier University Gold Nuggets on Thursday evening.
Xavier (10-5, 3-0) kept the Lady Badgers at arm's length for the rest of the first half and continually forced the Badgers into costly turnovers with an up-tempo defense and strong inside play from Nugget senior center Brittany Powell. By the intermission, XU held a 39-20 lead over the visitors.
SHC scored the first seven points of the second half to whittle the score down to 39-27 in favor of Xavier, but the Nuggets answered by scoring 15 of the next 17 points to rebuild a 54-29 advantage.
Lady Badger senior forward Robynetta Hargrave of Metairie, La., collected her fourth double/double of the year with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman center Alexis McPhail from West Frankfort, Ill., added 10 points to the Badger cause.
Xavier was paced by Powell's 16 points, Latashia Wise's 11 and Jasmine Grant's 10 points.
Overall, the Badgers were 18-54 (33.3%) from the field and 3-14 (21.4%) from 3-point distance. Xavier made 30 of their 67 shots (44.8%) and hit four of their 15 (26.7%) 3-point attempts.
In the most surprising statistic of the game, the Lady Badgers out-rebounded Xavier 43 to 33. SHC committed 25 turnovers in the face of an unrelenting Xavier defense that took away 20 steals. The Badgers, on the other hand, managed just four steals and a total of eight turnovers by the Nuggets.
Spring Hill (2-11, 0-3 GCAC) will next play at Dillard University (7-4, 0-2 GCAC) on Saturday in New Orleans in a game moved up to a noon start to accommodate the New Orleans Saints home NFC playoff game that night.