Nuggets win big, but coin clip sends them on road for GCAC quarterfinals

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana women’s basketball played one of its best games of the season, an 86-64 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference victory against Tougaloo. But it was the Gold Nuggets’ only victory Monday.

XULA lost an ensuing coin flip with Edward Waters to determine the No. 4 seed and home-court advantage for the first round/quarterfinals of the GCAC Tournament. XULA will be the fifth seed and travel to Jacksonville, Fla., for a 5:30 p.m. EST Wednesday matchup with Edward Waters.

A coin flip was needed because XULA and Edward Waters split their two regular-season meetings and had identical records against each of the other six teams.

“We’ll see who on our team is ready to fight and keep this season going,” XULA head coach Bo Browder said. “We had chances before tonight to avoid a coin flip. Didn’t happen. So it’s back to work on the road.”

Nahrie Pierce scored a season-high-tying 13 points for the Gold Nuggets (15-14, 6-8). Shaelynn Moore and Essence Wells scored 11 points apiece, and Gina Smith scored 10.

Melissa Creese scored 23 points, Jamesia Grice 11 and Amari Pittman 10 for Tougaloo (8-22, 4-10).

XULA led 20-12 through one quarter, 38-30 at halftime and 61-50 through three quarters.

XULA defeated Tougaloo for the 39th straight time at XULA. The last time the Lady Bulldogs beat the Gold Nuggets at XULA was Feb. 12, 1982.

The other GCAC Tournament Wednesday matchups: No. 8 SUNO at No. 1 Talladega, No. 7 Dillard at No. 2 Rust and No. 6 Tougaloo at No. 3 Philander Smith. All women’s and men’s semifinals and championships games will be played at XULA’s Convocation Center Saturday and Sunday.

XULA won 57-56 at home Jan. 27 against Edward Waters but lost 65-61 to the Lady Tigers (19-10) on the road a week ago. The XULA-Edward Waters winner will play the Talladega-SUNO winner Saturday.

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