Lady Bleu Devils give Gold Nuggets a flipping headache

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NEW ORLEANS — Dillard outscored Xavier University of Louisiana by 25 points over the final 15 minutes of the first half Saturday, then held on for a 62-52 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women’s basketball victory.

The Gold Nuggets (14-14, 5-8) need a home victory Monday against Tougaloo to gain a tie for fourth place in the GCAC with Edward Waters. If XULA and Edward Waters are tied, they then would participate in a coin flip to determine which team gets the No. 4 seed and a home game against the other in Wednesday’s opening round of the GCAC Tournament.

The coin flip would be necessary because XULA and Edward Waters would be tied in every other head-to-head scenario — with each other and with the other six GCAC members. The GCAC does not use point differential as a tiebreaker.
“We don’t want to play on the road,” XULA head coach Bo Browder said, “but this is the situation we’ve put ourselves in.”

XULA led 12-5 through the first five minutes — including back-to-back 3s by Shaelynn Moore, a former Dillard standout — before Dillard outscored the Gold Nuggets 32-7 to take a 37-19 halftime lead. XULA won the third quarter 24-13 but never got closer than three points in the second half.

“That big run by Dillard pretty much decided the game,” Browder said. “We couldn’t get all the way out of that hole.”

The Lady Bleu Devils (10-19, 4-10) clinched with eight consecutive points after Moore’s 3-point play cut Dillard’s lead to 52-49 with 5:44 remaining.

Moore finished with 21 points and Da’Jha Virgil 12 for XULA. They combined to make nine 3-pointers, five by Moore.

It was Dillard’s home game but played off campus at University of New Orleans Lakefront Arena. The Lady Bleu Devils gained revenge for XULA’s 65-43 home victory two weeks earlier.

“Rivalry game. Everybody knows how that is,” Browder said. “You’ve got to forget about what happened last time. Anything’s possible the next time we play. Dillard did a great job bouncing back.”

Edward Waters missed its chance to clinch the No. 4 seed when it lost 70-59 at home to regular-season champion Talladega.

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