The under-50 crowd — Gold Nuggets D-up again to defeat NAIA No. 15 Loyola (N.O.)
NEW ORLEANS — Bo Browder has coached three Xavier University of Louisiana women’s basketball teams that led NAIA Division I in scoring defense, but until Monday his Gold Nuggets never had allowed fewer than 50 points in each of the first three regular-season games.
The Gold Nuggets beat city rival Loyola, ranked 15th in the NAIA, 59-48 at XULA’s Convocation Center to add to their list of under-50 performances.
“This team plays hard and gets after it defensively,” said Browder, who’s in his 25th season as the Nuggets’ head coach. “There’s great pride and accountability in this group. I like what they’ve shown so far.”
XULA (3-0) ranks second in the NAIA in scoring defense with 35.7 points allowed per game.
Taylor Dewitt, a fifth-year transfer from another city rival, Dillard, led XULA with 18 points — a game and season high — seven rebounds and three assists. Teammates Tatjana Tatar and Zaria Harleaux scored 10 points apiece, and Patricia Sosa Lora grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
Deniya Thornton and Taylor Thomas scored 14 apiece for the Loyola (3-1), which defeated XULA 82-58 at Loyola last season.
XULA led 15-6 after one quarter and 23-21 at halftime, then exerted its will by outscoring the Wolf Pack 20-9 in the final period.
XULA beat a top-15 team for the first time since 62-55 at home against No. 13 Talladega on Feb. 11, 2019, and the Gold Nuggets became the first NAIA team to limit Loyola to fewer than 50 points since Belhaven on Feb. 27, 2014.
“It’s major love seeing this team’s growth,” said Dewitt, who graduated magna cum laude from Dillard in May and is playing a fifth season thanks to an NAIA COVID-19 pandemic waiver. “The keys tonight were defense and communication. We looked so good. This was a statement game.”
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As a New Orleans-area native, Jude grew up a fan of all sports and teams in the area. It’s a passion for the games that brought him into the fields of sports broadcasting and journalism. Whether he’s informing, reporting or entertaining, Jude brings his own special flavor to the task at hand. This Jesuit High School and Loyola New Orleans…