New Orleans, LA - The Xavier Gold Nuggets have had SUNO's number for quite a while. In 68 previous meetings, the Lady Knights had won just 8 times, and had lost 11 of their last 12 to their crosstown rivals, including 7 in a row. But after 40 minutes of hard-fought basketball, none of that mattered as SUNO left the Convocation Center with a 63-56 upset of 9th-ranked Xavier.
"This is a great win for our team", said Coach Elston King. "Xavier has an outstanding basketball tradition and they have been the measuring stick in this city and in our conference. To come in to their building and to win this game with the toughness that these ladies displayed is something special".
SUNO was able to build a 15-point lead late in the first half behind some blistering shooting as the Lady Knights shot 52% from the field, but Xavier closed the gap to 7 just before the intermission. Sabrina Scott was able to dominate the paint early, on her way to 9 points and 8 rebounds along with 3 blocks and a number of other shots altered.
"When Sabrina is active defensively, it gets us opportunities to get out in transition and score some easy baskets and we were able to do that in the first half", said Janee Morton, who added 12 points and 7 boards. "It got more difficult as both teams really turned up the defensive intensity in the second half, but we have April (Perry) and they didn't".
Guard April Perry who played all 40 minutes, would not let the Lady Knights lose the game as she helped to fend off every Xavier rally. The Senior scored 26 points and handed out 5 assists while fighting against the suffocating pressure of the Gold Nuggets trapping defense.
"We ended a lot of streaks tonight," said Perry, "and for our team this is a big win. More importantly, this is a conference win and we want to compete for the GCAC championship. To do that, we have to go on the road and beat teams like Xavier."
SUNO next plays this Saturday in The Castle versus Edward Waters.