Gold Nuggets cool off, lose in overtime at Talladega

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TALLADEGA, Ala. — For the second consecutive Monday, Xavier University of Louisiana lost a Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women’s basketball game in overtime and on the road. GCAC leader Talladega rallied from an 18-point first-half deficit and defeated the Gold Nuggets 75-66.

Sashanique Washington’s basket for the Lady Tornadoes (14-7, 5-0) with one second remaining in regulation tied the score at 65, then Talladega outscored XULA 10-1 in the extra period.

It was the best of times and the worst of times for the Gold Nuggets (13-7, 4-2), whose 50 points were their most in the first half of a road game in eight years. But they followed that with their fewest points after halftime in 30 years.

Tajanee Wells scored 18 points, Tasheba Henry and Youngblood had 16 apiece, and Jasmine Lee-Stackhouse scored 11 for Talladega. Wells made 4-of-5 3-pointers, Lee-Stackhouse grabbed eight rebounds, and Henry scored six points in overtime, including the first four.

XULA finished with no double-figure scorers for the first time this season. Mikayla Bates (3-of-3 3-pointers in the first half) and Ireyon Keith scored nine points apiece. Gina Smith grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, and Kelsee Singleton — whose 3-pointer at the buzzer beat Dillard on Saturday — blocked five shots to tie her career high.

The Gold Nuggets shot 60.6 percent from the floor to build a 50-35 halftime lead, but they were 4-of-29 from the floor — 1-of-16 on 3-pointers — in the final 25 minutes. They scored their only overtime point when Brittany Thomas made the first of two free throws with 55 seconds remaining. Those were the only overtime free throws for XULA, which missed seven freebies in the second half. In overtime the Gold Nuggets were 0-of-9 from the floor, including six from behind the arc.

Jalyn Hodge made 1-of-2 free throws with 29 seconds remaining in the first quarter to give XULA its largest lead, 30-12.

XULA is 0-4 in overtime games this season. In its last 12 games against NAIA opponents, XULA is 8-0-4 in regulation.

A victory would have given the Gold Nuggets sole possession of first place in the GCAC. Instead they remained in second place, but now they’re tied with Dillard, which was idle. XULA will travel to Jacksonville, Fla., to play fourth-place Edward Waters at 3 p.m. EST Saturday.

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Ed Cassiere

Ed Cassiere

Sports Information Director, Xavier University of Louisiana

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