Gold Nuggets shoot their way to 66-51 victory against Dillard

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana made 11 of its first 15 shots from the floor Saturday and used that momentum to earn a 66-51 women’s basketball victory against Dillard in the opening game of the Crosstown Classic.

The Gold Nuggets are 3-0 for the first time since the 2018-19 season.

XULA’s hot shooting propelled it to a 41-23 halftime lead, and it was 47-27 after an O.C. Mbakop Ngassam basket at 5:40 of the third quarter. Dillard (3-3) got as close as 57-49 with 5:20 remaining, but the Gold Nuggets closed with a 9-2 run.

“We started off extremely well,” XULA head coach Bo Browder said. “We got too comfortable in the third quarter and gave Dillard an opportunity to get back in the game. But overall it was a good day.”

XULA got double-doubles from Victory Udechi (13 points, 12 rebounds) and Abryhia Irons (11 points, 11 rebounds), and Nia Bishop scored 13. Mbakop Ngassam had eight points, eight rebounds and six blocked shots.

The double-double was Irons’ second this season.

Tabreea Gandy had nine points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals for Dillard.

XULA leads the series 73-25, 9-1 at the Convocation Center. XULA won 32 of the last 39 meetings, 20 by double digits. Browder-coached XULA teams are 42-11 against Dillard in 23 seasons.

The city rivals will meet against at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the University of New Orleans’ Lakefront Arena.

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