Auburn, UNO, Cajuns on Gold Nuggets’ 2017-18 schedule

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NEW ORLEANS — A first-time meeting with Auburn — one of three NCAA Division I opponents in 2017-18 — is the highlight of the Xavier University of Louisiana women’s basketball schedule.

Bo Browder, back for his 19th year as coach of the Gold Nuggets, announced the schedule Wednesday. This is the Nuggets’ 40th season of the Title IX era.

XULA and Auburn will meet at 6 p.m. Dec. 28 at Auburn, Ala. It will be the Gold Nuggets’ first matchup against the SEC since exhibition games at LSU in 2011 and 2012. Auburn was 17-15 last season and averaged nearly 2,300 fans per home game.

The Gold Nuggets, a longtime NAIA member, will visit Louisiana-Lafayette Nov. 4 and the University of New Orleans Dec. 14. XULA will play the Ragin’ Cajuns for the fifth consecutive year and meet UNO for the first time since the 2004-05 season.

There will be seven games against 2017 NAIA national tourney qualifiers, two in the first four days of the regular season. XULA will open Oct. 26 at city rival Loyola, then play its home opener at 1 p.m. Oct. 29 in the Convocation Center against Southeastern (Fla.), which was 28-1 last season and reached the NAIA Division II quarterfinals.

The other NAIA tourney qualifiers on the schedule are Our Lady of the Lake Dec. 2 at home, Lindsey Wilson Dec. 18 on the second day of the Xavier Classic, at LSU-Shreveport Dec. 30 and Gulf Coast Athletic Conference meetings with Talladega Jan. 15 on the road and Feb. 28 at home.

Lindsey Wilson was a national quarterfinalist each of the last two seasons and finished 32-3 in 2016-17. The new LSUS coach is Matt Cross, who led Talladega’s men to three consecutive No. 1 rankings and a national semifinal berth in the 2014-15 season.

Another intriguing matchup could be Feb. 3 at Stillman, which was 19-4 last season and whose only loss after Nov. 17 was to the Gold Nuggets.

XULA will play a pair of games apiece against city and GCAC rivals SUNO and Dillard, with the Lady Knights visiting Jan. 29 and the Lady Bleu Devils visiting Feb. 17.

Additional first-time opponents will be LSU-Alexandria Nov. 8 on the road and Nov. 29 at home, then the University of the Virgin Islands Dec. 17 on the first day of the Xavier Classic.

The GCAC Tournament will be March 2-4, followed by the NAIA Division I National Championship March 14-20 at Billings, Mont. XULA seeks to qualify for nationals for the 20th time in 24 seasons. The Gold Nuggets missed nationals last season after going 19-13 overall, 6-6 in the GCAC and finishing second to Talladega in the GCAC Tournament.

Xavier University of Louisiana
2017-18 Women’s Basketball Schedule

Oct. 26 (Thu.):  at Loyola (N.O.), 6 p.m.
Oct. 29 (Sun.):  SOUTHEASTERN (FLA.), 1 p.m.
Nov. 4 (Sat.):  at Louisiana-Lafayette, 2 p.m.
Nov. 8 (Wed.):  at LSU-Alexandria (DH), 5 p.m.
Nov. 14 (Tue.):  at William Carey (DH), 5:30 p.m.
Nov. 22 (Wed.):  at Florida Memorial, 7 p.m. EST
Nov. 29 (Wed.):  LSU-ALEXANDRIA (DH), 5 p.m.
Dec. 1 (Fri.):  GEORGETOWN (KY.), 6 p.m.
Dec. 2 (Sat.):  OUR LADY OF THE LAKE, 5 p.m.
Dec. 14 (Thu.):  at New Orleans, 6 p.m.
Dec. 17 (Sun.):  VIRGIN ISLANDS (DH), 7 p.m. (Xavier Classic)
Dec. 18 (Mon.):  LINDSEY WILSON (DH), 5 p.m. (Xavier Classic)
Dec. 28 (Thu.):  at Auburn, 6 p.m.
Dec. 30 (Sat.):  at LSU-Shreveport, noon
Jan. 2 (Tue.):  at Paul Quinn, 2 p.m.
Jan. 8 (Mon.):  •  at Edward Waters (DH), 5:30 p.m. EST
Jan. 13 (Sat.):  •  at Tougaloo (DH), 3 p.m.
Jan. 15 (Mon.):  •  at Talladega (DH), 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 17 (Wed.):  WILLIAM CAREY (DH), 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 20 (Sat.):  •  at Dillard (DH), 3 p.m.
Jan. 22 (Mon.):  •  at Philander Smith (DH), 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 29 (Mon.):  •  SUNO (DH), 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 3 (Sat.):  at Stillman, 1 p.m.
Feb. 5 (Mon.):  •  EDWARD WATERS (DH), 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 12 (Mon.):  •  at SUNO (DH), 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 17 (Sat.):  •  DILLARD (DH), 3 p.m. (Crosstown Classic)
Feb. 19 (Mon.):  •  PHILANDER SMITH (DH), 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 24 (Sat.):  •  TOUGALOO (DH), 3 p.m.
Feb. 28 (Wed.):  •  TALLADEGA (DH), 5:30 p.m.
March 2-4 (Fri.-Sun.):  Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament, TBA
March 14-20 (Wed.-Tue.):  NAIA Division I National Championship, Billings, Mont.

•  Gulf Coast Athletic Conference game
(DH) Doubleheader with Xavier’s men
All times are Central except where noted
Schedule is subject to change

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