NEW ORLEANS — Senior center Keldra Hall had 18 points and nine rebounds Tuesday to lead NAIA No. 16 Xavier University of Louisiana to a 64-54 women’s basketball victory over Spring Hill and give Bo Browder his 300th victory as coach of the Gold Nuggets.
Browder, in his 13th season, is 300-102 and has reached 20 victories 11 times.
“It’s all about who’s in your program,” Browder said. “I’ve been blessed to have a wonderful assistant coach in Darrilyn Broussard since the start of my third season. And of course you can’t win without good players, and we’ve had many contribute to our success.”
Jasmine Grant had 13 points, including three 3-pointers, four assists and three steals for Xavier (2-0), and Brandi Young had 10 points and five assists.
Cassandra Mitchell had 16 points and five rebounds for Spring Hill (0-1), and April Bradford had nine points and two blocked shots.
Xavier trailed 16-9 midway through the first half before taking the lead for good at 1:15 on SiMon Franklin’s basket. The Gold Nuggets led 35-30 at halftime and led by 14 twice in the final 10 minutes.
No. 7 VANDERBILT 102, XAVIER (N.O.) 62: In Nashville, Tenn., Jeffery Taylor scored 17 points and Kedren Johnson added 16 to lead No. 7 Vanderbilt past Xavier of the NAIA in an exhibition game on Monday night.
Taylor, a preseason All-Southeastern Conference selection, shot 7-of-9 from the field. Johnson, a freshman, came off the bench and made 9 of 10 free throws.
Thirteen players scored for the Commodores, who made 63.2 percent of their shots. Vanderbilt also made 10 3-pointers in the first half.
John Jenkins, the SEC’s top scorer last year (19.5 ppg), led the way with three 3-pointers. He finished with 15 points and freshman reserve Shelby Moats added 10.
Anthony Simmons and Wanto Joseph each scored 11 points for Xavier.
SLU to play Millsaps
HAMMOND — The Southeastern Louisiana University men’s basketball team tips off its season on Wednesday when it hosts Millsaps College in an exhibition game at the University Center.
Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Live statistics will be available at www.LionSports.net.
Looking to build on a 15-14 record and eighth consecutive appearance in the Southland Conference tournament, Southeastern returns six letterwinners and two starters for seventh-year coach Jim Yarbrough.
Southeastern, which officially opens its season on Sunday at Tulsa before hosting Spring Hill in its home opener on Nov. 15, was picked to finish fourth among a in the Southland Conference East Division. The Lions added six newcomers, including transfers Elgin Bailey (Mississippi State), Daron Populist (LSU) and Quin Cooper (Centenary).
Lavin attends practice
NEW YORK — Steve Lavin attended St. John’s men’s basketball practice Tuesday, his first since undergoing prostate cancer surgery on Oct. 6.
Assistant coach Mike Dunlap has run the team in Lavin’s absence. The Red Storm won their season opener on Monday, beating William & Mary 74-59 in the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.
The school said there no definite timetable for his full-time return.
This is Lavin’s second season at St. John’s. He led the Red Storm to a 21-12 record and their first NCAA tournament bid since 2002.
Pearl to host radio show
NEW YORK — Former Tennessee men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl will host a college basketball show on satellite radio service SiriusXM.
Pearl was fired in March after six seasons in the wake of an NCAA investigation that culminated with a three-year show-cause penalty against the coach. The sanction makes it nearly impossible for another school to hire him during that time.
Famous for painting his bare chest orange during a Tennessee women’s game, Pearl said he always figured he’d wind up in broadcasting after his coaching career ended. But, he tells The Associated Press, “I just didn’t think it was going to take a break this quickly.”
Pearl concedes he was concerned about whether any broadcaster would hire him so soon.
Pearl will host a three-hour call-in show twice a week.