Major breakthrough for Xavier Gold Nuggets on All-Louisiana team

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana women’s basketball earned its first-ever major awards on the All-Louisiana team — Bo Browder was voted Coach of the Year, and Jas Hill earned Newcomer of the Year.

Hill also was chosen second-team All-Louisiana.

A Louisiana Sports Writers Association panel of college publicists and media members selected the team. The team was released Friday evening for morning newspapers, then made available to all at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

XULA was the only school to win multiple major awards on the 2018-19 team. Cassidy Barrios of Nicholls repeated as Player of the Year, and LSU-Alexandria’s Kelsey Thaxton is Freshman of the Year.

Browder coached XULA to its first Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season championship in six years, a No. 24 national ranking and an at-large bid to the NAIA National Championship tournament. The Gold Nuggets were 23-8 overall, 13-1 in conference and the only Louisiana women’s team in 2018-19 to go unbeaten at home (13-0). The Gold Nuggets made a school-record 200 3-pointers.

Browder has led the Gold Nuggets to a 469-187 record in 20 seasons, and he is No. 3 in career victories among Louisiana women’s basketball coaches.

Hill’s 14.9 points per game were the most by a XULA woman in 20 seasons. She also led the Gold Nuggets in minutes per game (27), made 3s (37), made free throws (115) and blocks (11). Her state honors are the last of several end-of-season awards which included NAIA Division I third-team All-America and GCAC Player of the Year.

2018-19 LSWA Women’s Basketball Teams

Player of the Year: Cassidy Barrios, Nicholls
Freshman of the Year: Kelsey Thaxton, LSU-Alexandria
Newcomer of the Year: Jas Hill, Xavier
Coach of the Year: Bo Browder, Xavier

First Team
Cassidy Barrios, Nicholls
Kierra Anthony, Louisiana Tech
Shakyla Hill, Grambling
Ayana Mitchell, LSU
Danyale Bayonee, LSU-Alexandria

Second Team
Krystal Freeman, Tulane
Jas Hill, Xavier
Monette Bolden, Bossier Parish CC
Alyssa Washington, Dillard
Kelsey Thaxton, LSU-Alexandria

Third Team
Khayla Pointer, LSU
Shania Woods, New Orleans
Kalia Anthony, Loyola
Arsula Clark, ULM
Brandi Williams, UL Lafayette

Honorable Mention: Celica Sterling, Southeastern Louisiana; Kayla Watson, BRCC; Ty’Reona Doucet, UL Lafayette; Megan Worry, Loyola.

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