NEW ORLEANS — Grambling had a 25-3 run spanning two halves Friday and held on a 47-43 women’s basketball victory over NAIA No. 22 Xavier University of Louisiana in the final game of the Xavier Classic.
The Lady Tigers (2-4), who snapped Xavier’s 16-game win streak at The Barn, were the only 2-0 team in the four-team event. No championship was awarded because both days’ pairings were predetermined. Jasher Blocker scored nine points to lead Grambling, which trailed 20-11 through 10 minutes before taking command during the next 15½ minutes. Seven Lady Tigers scored during the run, which Bre’Anna Johnson capped with a basket for a 36-23 Grambling lead with 17:44 remaining.
Xavier (7-1) never reclaimed the lead, although the Gold Nuggets closed to 45-43 on Keldra Hall’s basket with 2:55 remaining. Xavier missed a 3-pointer with 1:48 remaining and committed consecutive turnovers in the final minute before Brittney Allen made two free throws for Grambling — her only points of the game — with 14 seconds remaining. Hall led the Gold Nuggets with 13 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Both teams shot 32.7 percent from the floor, and they were a combined 3-of-22 on 3-pointers. Grambling was 13-of-16 on free throws and made five more than Xavier. The Gold Nuggets, who shot a school-record 72.8 percent from the line last season, were 8-of-15 against Grambling and are shooting 60 percent this season.
Xavier committed 24 turnovers, three more than Grambling, and outrebounded the Lady Tigers 43-30. It was the second loss in 30 games for Xavier and just the seventh time in the last 105 games that the Gold Nuggets lost in their campus venue.
Grambling Coach Donnita Rogers extended her Xavier Classic win streak to seven games. She also coached Langston to 2-0 records in the 2006 and 2007 events, then led Grambling to a victory against Tuskegee in the Lady Tigers’ only game at XU in 2009