XULA’s accuracy knocks down Philander for 1st GCAC women’s hoops victory

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana made 17-of-18 fourth-quarter free throws Wednesday — including its final nine in the final 1:56 — to rally for a 62-53 women’s basketball victory against Philander Smith.

XULA (4-3, 1-1) earned its first league victory on the third day of Gulf Coast Athletic Conference group play.

Nia Bishop scored a season-high 21 points for XULA and made 10-of-11 free throws, including all seven of her fourth-quarter attempts. Freshman Jaleah LaFargue had 10 points, five rebounds and three steals, Abryhia Irons had nine points and seven rebounds, and O.C. Mbakop Ngassam overcame early foul trouble to grab 10 rebounds, a career best, and block two shots.

For the game XULA made 26-of-30 free throws, 22-of-26 in the second half. It was a major turnaround from Tuesday, when XULA made only 9-of-20 in a 55-54 loss to Rust.

In the second and final Wednesday game, Edward Waters got 27 points and 14 rebounds from Emari Bell to defeat Rust 72-66 in overtime. The Lady Tigers’ victory assured that none of the five women’s teams competing this week would finish unbeaten in this first segment of group play.

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