Dillard late rally sinks XULA in GCAC group play at Talladega

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TALLADEGA, Ala. — Xavier University of Louisiana lost to Dillard Monday the way it defeated the Lady Bleu Devils Thursday: because of a late rally.

This time Dillard outscored XULA 8-1 in the final 2:30 to earn a 63-60 victory in Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women’s basketball group play.

Four days earlier at Dillard, XULA scored the final eight points in a 67-60 victory that did not count in the GCAC standings.

XULA led 62-58 after an Abryhia Irons basket with 2:31 remaining and 63-61 after O.C. Mbakop Ngassam made 1-of-2 free throws at 1:23. Sharan Turner’s basket in the paint for Dillard at 1:01 tied the score at 63, then Turner made 1-of-2 free throws with 16 seconds remaining to put Dillard ahead to stay at 64-63.

XULA missed three shots, all from 2-point range, in the final 12 seconds, and Dillard’s Rayah Haynes closed the scoring with a pair of free throws with four seconds remaining.

Nia Bishop scored 18 points, Da’Jha Virgil a season-high 12 and Irons eight for XULA (6-4, 1-2). Nina German and Mbakop Ngassam scored seven points apiece, and Mbakop Ngassam blocked four shots for the third consecutive game.

Dillard (2-3, 1-0), which produced one double-figure scorer Thursday, had four this time. Turner scored 18 points, JaQuanna Hunter and Johnna Jones had 14 apiece, and Haynes scored 10. Hunter grabbed 16 rebounds.

It was 28-all at halftime, and Dillard led 46-44 through three quarters. There were nine ties and 11 lead changes.

XULA outshot Dillard 36.7 to 31.8 percent from the floor but committed a season-worst 24 turnovers, four more than the Lady Bleu Devils.

XULA’s remaining GCAC games at Talladega will start at noon Tuesday against Talladega and 5 p.m. Wednesday against Edward Waters.

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