Difficult first quarter dooms Nuggets at Dillard

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana fell behind by double digits in the first quarter Saturday and never caught up in a 63-53 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women’s basketball loss at city rival Dillard.

Taylor Jacob had career highs of 12 points and three made 3-pointers for the Gold Nuggets (7-9, 0-4), and she became the first XULA freshman in nine years to lead the Nuggets in scoring against the Lady Bleu Devils (14-3, 3-1). Mikayla Bates and Gina Smith scored 10 points apiece for XULA, and Smith grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds in her first double-double of the season and the second of her career.

XULA trailed 19-6 through one quarter after going 2-of-18 from the floor. The Gold Nuggets outscored Dillard, ranked 21st in the NAIA, in each of the next two quarters and got as close as 37-35 in the 26th minute. But Dillard led 43-38 by the end of the quarter, then opened the fourth with a 9-2 run. XULA never drew closer than six points in the final seven minutes.

Shaelynn Moore scored 15 points and Alyssa Washington 12 for Dillard, and Alexia McDonald and Jaiylan Brown added 10 apiece. Brown, a reserve freshman guard, scored all her points in the third quarter, including 3-of-3 3-pointers.

Dillard outshot XULA 42.9 to 27.9 percent from the floor. The Gold Nuggets outrebounded Dillard 43-40 and was plus-5 in turnovers, committing 11 and gaining 16.

The Gold Nuggets will board a bus early Sunday for their fifth consecutive GCAC road game — 5:30 p.m. Monday against Philander Smith in Little Rock, Ark.

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