Gold Nuggets earn third consecutive conference victory by downing SUNO

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NEW ORLEANS — Essence Wells, one of four from Xavier University of Louisiana in double figures, scored 16 points Monday in a 71-59 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women’s basketball victory against SUNO at The Castle.

The Gold Nuggets (10-11, 3-5) won their third straight conference decision after dropping their first five. It was their first victory of the season in a GCAC road game.

Mikayla Bates scored 13 points, all in the first half, for XULA, and Gina Smith and DeDe Martinez scored 10 apiece. Smith grabbed nine rebounds, and Maya Trench had seven assists.

The Lady Knights (4-16, 1-9) also had four double-figure scorers. Briana Upshur had 16 points, Shadejha scored 13, Kascity Martin had 12, and Andriel Moss had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

SUNO, which lost its ninth in a row, never led. The Gold Nuggets led the final 38 minutes, including 38-28 at halftime.

XULA outshot SUNO 38.1 to 35.1 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Lady Knights 42-37.

XULA will play host to Dillard at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Convocation Center in the opening game of the Crosstown Classic presented by Raising Cane’s. Dillard clinched a tie for the GCAC regular-season championship with a 98-66 victory at Tougaloo.

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