Saturday, December 17, 2016

Bates, Brown help XULA Nuggets beat No. 1 Concordia (Ala.)

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana got career scoring highs from Mikayla Bates and Bianca Brown and defeated Concordia (Ala.) 58-54 in women's basketball Thursday.

Bates, a sophomore guard, had a game-high 16 points, 10 in the first half, and grabbed a season-high five rebounds. Brown, a senior forward/center, scored 12 points. Both had a pair of steals.

The Gold Nuggets (7-6) trailed 16-11 after one quarter, then outscored the Lady Hornets (10-3) in each of the final three periods. Concordia is ranked No. 1 in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association.

Bates and Brown shot a combined 75 percent from the floor (12-of-16). They produced on an afternoon when their teammates shot a combined 18.5 percent (10-of-54).

"Mikayla Bates had an outstanding game," XULA coach Bo Browder said. "I'm proud of her because she works so hard, and it looks like the hard work is finally paying off.

"Bianca Brown is a very good post player who finishes well around the bucket. We're going to need her to play well the rest of the season."

XULA's largest deficit was 19-11 in the 13th minute, but it rallied for a halftime tie at 24 with Bates scoring the final basket. Brown's basket at 1:09 capped her 4-for-4 third quarter and put the Gold Nuggets ahead to stay, 43-41. It was the 14th lead change.

But the Gold Nuggets never pulled away. Concordia missed three straight free throws while trailing 50-48, and the Lady Hornets failed to force overtime when Carshava Sutton missed a driving shot in the lane with 12 seconds remaining. Aliyah Bell grabbed that rebound — her XULA-best eighth of the game — and Brown capped the scoring with a pair of free throws with 3.1 seconds to play.

Three XULA freshmen also contributed to the victory. Maya Trench had eight assists, one fewer than her career best, and Rosie Davis had a career-best five assists. Dasha Pitre's seven points, six rebounds and 14 minutes were career highs.

Lashanique Youngblood had 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists and a game-high four steals for Concordia. Sutton had nine points and eight rebounds, and Shuntavia Harris had eight points and eight rebounds.

Concordia outshot XULA 40 to 31.4 percent from the floor. XULA was plus-nine in turnovers,
committing 14 and gaining 23, and made a season-high 90.9 percent of its free throws (10-of-11).

The Gold Nuggets will break for Christmas, then travel to Dallas for games at Dallas Christian (Dec. 31 at 11 a.m.) and Paul Quinn (Jan. 2 at 2 p.m.). Times and opponents on this trip have been updated since the publication of schedule cards and posters.


Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

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