Gold Nuggets win in La Sierra to split in California – Crescent City Sports

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Shylia McGee scored 21 points to lead Xavier University of Louisiana in a 68-46 women’s basketball win over La Sierra on Sunday.

The Gold Nuggets (2-1) finished their trip to California 1-1. They lost Thursday 61-45 at NAIA No. 2 Westmont.

McGee — a 5-foot-8 junior guardsman from Biloxi, Mississippi, and in her first XULA season after transferring from Southwest Mississippi Community College — has hit double digits in every game. McGee was 5 of 7 on 3-pointers and produced the most 3s in a game from a gold nugget since Shaelynn Moore’s 5-of-7 performance against Dillard on February 29, 2020.

In three games, McGee made 57.9 percent of her 3s: 11 of 19.

Kaylee Martinez, a 5-foot-9 senior, filled the stat sheet for La Sierra (0-4). It took her just seven shots to have 14 points – she was 4 of 4 with 3 points – and had 10 rebounds, five assists, five steals and a block in 35 minutes.

The Gold Nuggets led by double figures in both halves and pulled away in the second half with a 26-5 run in which McGee had 15 points, including three 3s. McGee finished the climb with a three to put XULA ahead 61-39 with 4:31 remaining.

Ashanti LaVergne, Mary Wilkins and Nia Bishop each scored nine points for XULA. LaVergne grabbed nine rebounds. Bishop had six rebounds and four assists, and her eight steals are the most in a game with a gold nugget since Mikayla Bates had eight in Tougaloo on Jan. 13, 2018.

XULA made 13 free throws on La Sierra’s four, passed the Golden Eagles 42-31 and was plus-12 in turnovers, committed 15 and won 27. The Gold Nuggets passed La Sierra by 39.3 to 38.6 percent from the floor – 45.2 to 34.8 percent in the second half.

“The defense improved in the second half and we started making shots,” said 24th-year XULA head coach Bo Browder. “We learned a lot from those two games in California. I’m excited to see where we are and I see signs that we could be good in the postseason.”

The game ended at 9am PST. XULA had hoped for a Saturday matchup, but La Sierra filled in that date with NCAA Division I Long Beach State. . . and the Golden Eagles lost 79-34 on the road. But XULA did its business on Sunday and made it home to Los Angeles International Airport in time for an afternoon flight.

XULA will host city rivals SUNO at the Convocation Center on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

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