XULA beats No. 13 OLLU for 5th straight win

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NEW ORLEANS — Essence Wells had a career-high-tying 18 points Saturday, and Xavier University of Louisiana produced its highest scoring second half of the season in a 70-65 women’s basketball victory against NAIA No. 13 Our Lady of the Lake.

After trailing 31-27 at the break, the Gold Nuggets (5-2) outscored the Saints (5-4) 43-34 in the second half to extend their win streak to five games, XULA won for the third time in four days at its Convocation Center.

Wells, a sophomore guard, made 5-of-5 free throws in the 35th minute to give XULA a 60-56 lead. OLLU never got closer than three points thereafter.

Ireyon Keith scored a season-high 12 points for XULA, and Gina Smith had season highs of 11 points and eight rebounds. Smith was 5-of-6 from the floor.

Francesca Patrick scored 16 points for OLLU, and Destinee King had 13 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, three blocks and four steals.

XULA’s previous high point total in a second half was 35, and the Gold Nuggets never reached 30 points in five of their first six second halves this season.

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