Record-setting Broome leads SUNO into GCAC tournament _lowres

Tulane coach Lisa Stockton (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

Senior forward Brandy Broome leads top-seeded Southern University at New Orleans into the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women’s tournament this week, poised to make more history.

Two games ago, Broome, an Ole Miss transfer, posted the first quadruple-double in conference history — and the first in the NAIA since 2005 — finishing a win against Talladega with 23 points, 16 rebounds, 12 assists and 11 steals. She also had two blocks.

Ironically, she recalls her Feb. 28 feat for the missed shots (7 for 19 from the field), not the stuffed stat sheet, realizing she could have scored even more.

One game later, SUNO ended the regular season with a road victory at Philander Smith. Broome flirted with another quadruple double, finishing with 17 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and eight steals.

“Recently, the games I’ve had have been all bad games but somehow, the stats all show they were good,” said Broome, whose on-the-court antics this season have earned her player of the week honors eight times in the GCAC and once nationally (NAIA).

Meanwhile, her Lady Knights (19-4) enter the GCAC women’s tournament with their first regular-season championship since 2000. It also marks the school’s second all-time.

SUNO will play eighth-seeded Voorhees on Friday at 7 p.m. at Dillard’s Dent Hall, the site of all quarterfinal games.

Earlier Friday, fourth-seeded Talladega will play fifth-seeded Philander Smith (noon), third-seeded Dillard will play sixth-seeded Edward Waters (2 p.m.) and seventh-seeded Tougaloo will play second-seeded Xavier, the tournament host and defending tournament champions.

Saturday’s semifinals (noon, 5 p.m.) and Sunday’s finals (3 p.m.) will move to Xavier’s Convocation Center. The winner receives an automatic bid to NAIA Nationals.

SUNO received votes in the latest NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, placing them within reach of an automatic bid to nationals. Not that Broome, a favorite to win GCAC player of the year honors, would settle for second.

A glance at her accomplishments:

  • Broome leads the GCAC in scoring (18.7), assists (5.9) and steals (6.1). She also ranks second in rebounding (9.8) and blocks (1.9). Nationally, her steals and assists totals rank first and fifth.
  • Broome collected 14 double-doubles and an NAIA-best three triple-doubles.

Perhaps the best aspect of Broome’s quadruple-double: at first, nobody noticed. All of her scoring and stealing, rebounding and sharing occurred as a part of the offense, with nothing pushed.

“We didn’t know she had it until the end of the game,” said her coach, Elston King. “We knew she was working hard, doing some things on the floor, but we didn’t expect that. That was something amazing.”

Still, Broome remembers the misses. Wide-open shots she’s accustomed to making. She wonders if the shots would fall easier with a defender closer to her.

She’ll probably find out this week, with lots of defensive attention heading her way. Not that Broome plans to make it easy for the rest of the conference.

“I’m kind of fast,” she said, “so it’s hard to catch me.”