Saturday, January 16, 2016

Nuggets' late surge gives them 64-59 victory at Mobile

MOBILE, Alabama — Whitney Gathright scored 14 points Wednesday and put NAIA No. 13 Xavier University of Louisiana ahead to stay in the 38th minute of a 64-59 women's basketball victory at Mobile.
The Gold Nuggets (13-5) stretched their win streak to four games and won on the road for the first time in more than a month.
Starla Daggan's two free throws gave the Rams (10-6) a 56-55 lead with 3:06 remaining, but the Gold Nuggets closed with a 9-3 run, permitting just a 3-pointer in Mobile's final five possessions. Gathright's basket in the paint at 2:14 gave the Gold Nuggets a 57-56 advantage, and Emoni Harvey's steal and pass set up Donyeah Mayfield for another basket and a 59-56 lead with 1:52 remaining.
Xavier made 5-of-6 free throws, three by freshman Mikayla Bates and two by Gathright, in the final 30 seconds to clinch the decision and a two-game season sweep of Mobile.
Gathright also had six rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Kelsee Singleton scored 10 points, Mayfield and Trana Hopkins scored nine apiece, and Jasmine Bush matched her career high of eight points, all in the first half. Mayfield grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and reached double figures for the second consecutive game.
Daggan scored 17 points for Mobile, which entered with a 4-game win streak, and Kali Koenig had 11.
Mobile shot 54.2 percent from the floor in the first half, but Xavier collected 13 steals and led 36-34 at halftime. There were three ties and six lead changes in the second half, and Mobile held its largest lead, 54-51, after Daggan's two free throws with 7:56 remaining.
Mobile finished at 37.5 percent from the floor after shooting 20.8 percent in the second half. The Gold Nuggets made a season-low one 3-pointer but shot 42.9 percent from the floor in each half. Xavier finished with 17 steals, four by Harvey and two apiece by Mayfield, Bates and Hopkins. Xavier outrebounded Mobile 35-31, winning the boards for the first time in nine games and on the road for the second time this season.
The Gold Nuggets will travel to Talladega, Ala., to play NAIA No. 21 Talladega in a Gulf Coast Athletic Conference game at 3 p.m. Saturday. The Nuggets' next home game will start at 5:30 p.m. Monday against GCAC opponent Tougaloo.


Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

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