By Scott Barker, Communications and Sports Information Intern
Independence, Mo. – No. 2-seed Campbellsville (Ky.) earned a first round win over No. 7-seed Xavier (La.), 75-50, in day one at the 2016 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship. The Lady Tigers move to 26-7 on the season and will face the winner of The Master’s (Calif.) vs. Loyola (La.). The Gold Nuggets end their season with a 22-12 record.
Campbellsville, who entered the championship ranked No. 4 in the NAIA in scoring margin, led 20-7 at the end of the first quarter thanks to a 15-2 run to end the frame.
“We were happy with it [early game]. We felt like that if got this game, got it over with then we would really have two full days of rest and now we can relax and watch the games” said Campbellsville head coach Ginger Colvin “We have a good feeling here, we have a good vibe here. Were so happy to back. We beat a good team today. I think they have a really nice team and very athletic. A lot of things that we overcame today to win the game.”
The Lady Tigers extended that run to 19-2 over the first 2:23 of the second quarter to push their lead to 26-12. Whitney Gathright made two free throws for the Gold Nuggets to cut the deficit to 12, but that was as close as Xavier got in the first half.
The Gold Nuggets were held scoreless for a stretch of 7:19 in the first half.
In the third quarter, Campbellsville pushed its lead to 21 points (53-32), after Lauren Turner made a 2-point jump shot off the pass from LeeAnn Grider.
The Lady Tigers extended their lead to a game-high 29 points (74-45) with 1:22 left in the game, as Madison Stewart drilled a 3-pointer off an assist by Alexis Pester.
Campbellsville, which is making its eighth-consecutive appearance in the tournament, recorded its fourth-straight first round win. The Lady Tigers shot 46 percent (26-of-56) from the field. Lindsey Burd scored a game-high 22 points and passes 20 points for the 14th time in 33 games, including 20-or-more in eight of her last 11 games. Burd also added six rebounds and five assists. Emily Fox recorded 21 points, passing the 20-point mark for the eighth time this season.
Xavier, playing in its first tournament since 2014, shot 19-of-54 (35 percent) for the game. The 25-point loss was the worst loss of the season for Xavier. Gathright was the leading scorer for Xavier as she poured in 16 points on 5-of-12 shooting.
Campbellsville moves to the second round and will play on Friday at 9 a.m. CDT