NEW ORLEANS — Whitney Gathright’s second double-double of the season and Jasmine Bush’s three free throws with 53 seconds remaining helped Xavier University of Louisiana defeat Dillard 63-57 Saturday in Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women’s basketball.
The Gold Nuggets (19-11, 7-5) and Lady Bleu Devils (9-17, 4-8) will be rematched Friday in the opening round of the GCAC Tournament at SUNO. Xavier is seeded third, and Dillard is sixth. The GCAC will announce game times Sunday.
Gathright, who had 17 points and 11 rebounds, made a 3-pointer with 2:53 remaining to put Xavier ahead to stay, 55-54. After three consecutive scoreless possessions, Bush extended the Gold Nuggets’ lead to 58-54 when she drew a foul on a 3-point attempt with three seconds remaining on the shot clock. Bush made all the free throws, and they were her only points of the game.
“I drew contact, and I played it well,” Bush said. “I was calm, I was ready for it. I had been practicing free throws all week for it.”
Dillard trailed 23-14 after one quarter and 31-28 at halftime but took a 42-36 lead on Shaelynn Moore’s two free throws at 2:23 of the third quarter. Xavier rallied to lead 46-44 at the end of the period.
Trana Hopkins had 14 points, seven rebounds and three steals for Xavier, and Ariel Sneed had a career-high-tying seven points and a career-best nine rebounds in her first start for the Gold Nuggets.
Dillard outshot Xavier 39.3 to 27.3 percent from the floor, but the Gold Nuggets made 22-of-29 free throws to Dillard’s 7-of-13. Xavier outrebounded Dillard 58-28 and used a season-best 26 offensive rebounds to produce an 11-0 advantage in second-chance points.
Alyssa Washington scored 15 points, Alena Evans 12, Moore 11 and Keona Favis 10 for Dillard. Shantrell Lumar had a career-high 11 assists. Dillard is 0-5, including two home losses, since winning 57-52 at Xavier Feb. 6.