William Carey gives Gold Nuggets their first loss of the season

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. — William Carey used three major runs to build a 22-point lead Monday and earn a 61-53 women’s basketball victory against Xavier University of Louisiana.

It was the Gold Nuggets’ first loss this season.

Carey outscored XULA 12-0 in the first quarter, 10-0 in the second quarter and 11-0 over the second and third quarters en route to its first victory against the Gold Nuggets since 2014 and its seventh in the last 52 meetings.

XULA, trailing 54-32 with 7:52 remaining, rallied with an 18-3 run that included six Nia Bishop points and five from Da’Jha Virgil. That cut Carey’s lead to 57-50 in the final 90 seconds. But the Gold Nuggets (4-1) got no closer.

Rebekah Engle made three 3-pointers and scored 17 points for Carey (2-0). Lauren Rowley had 11 points and seven rebounds, and Gabrielle Gallup had 10 points, four assists and no turnovers in 37 minutes.

Bishop, with 14 points, was XULA’s only double-figure scorer. Virgil produced eight points, five rebounds and four steals, and Victory Udechi had eight points and nine rebounds.

Carey shot 60 percent from the floor to build a 28-14 halftime lead and outshot XULA 48.9 to 38.6 percent for the game. XULA averaged 21 made free throws in its first four games but was 5-of-6 from the line this time.

Carey will visit XULA Dec. 6.

XULA will play a 5 p.m. Thursday exhibition at the University of New Orleans. Start time was pushed back six hours. The next home game will start at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 23 against another city rival, Loyola.

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