Trip to Michigan will open Nuggets’ busy schedule

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana women’s basketball has not played a regular-season game in the Midwest since 1998. But that will change during the 2019-20 season when the Gold Nuggets open with a pair of games in suburban Detroit.

Bo Browder, in his 21st season at XULA and the Louisiana Coach of the Year last season, announced the schedule Tuesday. His Gold Nuggets return 13 letterwomen from last season’s team that was 23-8 overall and 13-1 in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference, won the GCAC regular-season championship, earned an at-large bid to the NAIA Division I National Championship tournament and ranked 24th in the final coaches poll.

The XULA women will play UM-Dearborn Oct. 25 and Lawrence Tech Oct. 26 in Tech’s Blue Devil Classic at Southfield, Mich. It will be the Gold Nuggets’ first regular-season competition in the Midwest since November 1998, when Browder’s first XULA team played three games in the National Catholic Tournament at Dubuque, Iowa.

The Gold Nuggets will play 13 times at home and open Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. against longtime rival William Carey at the Convocation Center.

XULA will play the NAIA-maximum 32 games — 30 regular-season contests, plus road exhibitions Nov. 20 at North Texas and Dec. 19 at Louisiana-Lafayette, both NCAA Division I members.

“We have another challenging schedule with several chances to play teams that made it to NAIA nationals,” Browder said. “The games against DIs will be great tests, too. Our schedule last year was one of our toughest of the last 10 years. This schedule will be similar, and it will help us prepare for postseason play.”
The 2019 NAIA national tournament teams on the schedule will be:

•  LSU-Alexandria (round of 16) — Nov. 13 home, Jan. 4 road.
•  City rival Loyola (round of 16) — Dec. 14 road.
•  Talladega (round of 16) — Jan. 25 home, Feb. 22 road.
•  Dillard (two-time defending GCAC Tournament champion) — Feb. 15 home, Feb. 29 road.

UM-Dearborn (24-7), Lawrence Tech (22-10) and GCAC rival Rust (20-10 — Jan. 13 road, Feb. 1 home) all were 20-game winners from last season that did not qualify for nationals.

The GCAC Tournament will be March 6-8 in New Orleans, followed by the NAIA Division I National Championship March 18-24 at Billings, Mont. This will be the final season of two NAIA basketball divisions; all schools will play in one division in 2020-21.

NOTES:  This is the 42nd season of XULA women’s basketball during the Title IX era . . . XULA qualified for NAIA nationals in 20 of its last 25 seasons . . . All XULA games at the Convocation Center will be streamed live, same as a year ago . . . This will be XULA’s eighth season in the Convocation Center, which seats nearly 4,000 and has all-chairback seating . . . UM-Dearborn, Lawrence Tech and Texas A&M-Texarkana — a first-year program Nov. 15 in the LSUS Classic at Shreveport, La. — will be the Nuggets’ first-time opponents . . . The visit to North Texas will be a homecoming for senior guards Essence Wells (Irving) and Jalyn Hodge (Plano). Wells was second-team All-GCAC each of the past two seasons . . . When Dillard plays host to XULA, that game will be played at Lakefront Arena (University of New Orleans) . . . Browder has led the Gold Nuggets to a 469-187 record in 20 seasons, and he is No. 3 in career victories among Louisiana women’s basketball coaches.

Xavier University of Louisiana
2019-20 Women’s Basketball Schedule

Oct. 25 (Fri.):  UM-Dearborn, 5 p.m. EDT  (Lawrence Tech Blue Devil Classic, Southfield, Mich.)
Oct. 26 (Sat.):  at Lawrence Tech, 2 p.m. EDT  (Lawrence Tech Blue Devil Classic, Southfield, Mich.)
Oct. 29 (Tue.):  WILLIAM CAREY, 6 p.m.
Nov. 2 (Sat.):  at Mobile (DH), 2 p.m.
Nov. 4 (Mon.):  VIRGIN ISLANDS, 5:30 p.m.
Nov. 6 (Wed.):  at Stillman, 5:30 p.m.
Nov. 11 (Mon.):  HUSTON-TILLOTSON, 6 p.m.
Nov. 13 (Wed.):  LSU-ALEXANDRIA, 6 p.m.
Nov. 15 (Fri.):  Texas A&M-Texarkana, 5 p.m.  (LSUS Classic, Shreveport, La.)
Nov. 16 (Sat.):  at LSU-Shreveport, 4 p.m.  (LSUS Classic, Shreveport, La.)
Nov. 20 (Wed.):  at North Texas, TBA  (exhibition)
Nov. 22 (Fri.):  at Huston-Tillotson, TBA
Nov. 30 (Sat.):  at William Carey (DH), 2 p.m.
Dec. 2 (Mon.):  WILEY, 6 p.m.
Dec. 14 (Sat.):  at Loyola (N.O.) (DH), 2 p.m.
Dec. 17 (Tue.):  MOBILE (DH), 3 p.m.
Dec. 19 (Thu.):  at Louisiana-Lafayette, TBA  (exhibition)
Jan. 4 (Sat.):  at LSU-Alexandria, TBA
Jan. 11 (Sat.)  •  at Philander Smith (DH), 2 p.m.
Jan. 13 (Mon.)  •  at Rust (DH), 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 20 (Mon.)  •  at SUNO (DH), 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 25 (Sat.):  •  TALLADEGA (DH), 3 p.m.
Jan. 27 (Mon.):  •  EDWARD WATERS (DH), 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 1 (Sat.):  •  RUST (DH), 3 p.m.
Feb. 3 (Mon.):  •  PHILANDER SMITH (DH), 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 8 (Sat.)  •  at Tougaloo (DH), 3 p.m.
Feb. 15 (Sat.):  •  DILLARD (DH), 3 p.m.  (Crosstown Classic)
Feb. 17 (Mon.):  •  SUNO (DH), 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 22 (Sat.)  •  at Talladega (DH), 3 p.m.
Feb. 24 (Mon.)  •  at Edward Waters (DH), 5:30 p.m. EST
Feb. 29 (Sat.)  •  at Dillard (DH), 3 p.m.  (at UNO Lakefront Arena)
March 2 (Mon.):  •  TOUGALOO (DH), 5:30 p.m.
March 6-8 (Fri.-Sun.):  Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament at New Orleans, TBA
March 18-24 (Wed.-Tue.):  NAIA Division I National Championship at Billings, Mont., TBA

•  Gulf Coast Athletic Conference game
(DH) Doubleheader with XULA’s men
All times are Central except where noted
Schedule is subject to change

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