Short-handed Nuggets stymie Philander Smith, 68-61

NEW ORLEANS — NAIA No. 14 Xavier University of Louisiana got 17 points from Whitney Gathright and double-doubles from Bianca Brown and Donyeah Mayfield in a 68-61 women’s basketball victory Monday against Philander Smith.

The Gold Nuggets (12-5, 2-0 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference) have won three straight. They are 7-0 at home this season.

Xavier, with nine available players — it started the season with 16 — took the lead for good in the second minute and outscored the Lady Panthers (10-7, 2-2) in each of the first three quarters.

Gathright reached double figures in points for a season-best fourth consecutive game and had five assists. Brown, who entered with eight points and nine rebounds in eight games, produced 11 points and 10 rebounds. Mayfield had 10 points and 11 rebounds in her third double-double of the season and her second in three games.

Juquecia Chaney had 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists for Philander Smith, and Brittany Leonard scored 12.

Xavier outshot the Lady Panthers 36.1 to 29.5 percent from the floor and outscored them 19-10 at the line.

Xavier will travel to the University of Mobile for a 6 p.m. Wednesday game. The Gold Nuggets’ next home game will start at 5:30 p.m. Monday against GCAC opponent Tougaloo.

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