Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Rally at Wright time gives Gold Rush victory at SUNO

NEW ORLEANS — Morris Wright scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half Monday, and Xavier University of Louisiana rallied late for a 59-50 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference men's basketball victory against SUNO at The Castle.
The Gold Rush (16-8, 3-4) snapped a two-game losing streak and won a GCAC road game for the first time this season.
Wright, a senior guard and the GCAC Preseason Player of the Year, scored a 3-point play with an assist from Gary Smith to put Xavier ahead to stay, 48-46, with 3:03 remaining. Wright made two free throws at 2:33, and Smith's 3-point play at 1:46 gave Xavier a 53-46 lead and capped an 8-0 run.
Elex Carter had 10 points and six rebounds for the Gold Rush, and Smith had nine points and a season-high seven assists. Wright scored in double figures for the 32nd consecutive game and led Xavier in scoring for the 22nd time in 24 games this season.
Dominique Suggs and Junaid Olusesi scored 11 points apiece for the Knights (6-12, 1-6), who have lost four straight, and Joe Brown had nine points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Cortavius Williams had eight points and 14 rebound
Olusesi's 3-pointer gave SUNO its largest lead, 19-11, at 9:29 of the first half, but Leland Alexander's basket for Xavier with three seconds remaining tied the score at 25. The Knights held their largest second-half lead, 44-38, after Brown's basket at 6:45.
SUNO outshot Xavier 42.6 to 41.5 percent from the floor, but the Gold Rush made 11-of-19 free throws to the Knights' 4-of-12. Xavier produced a season-high 13 steals, with Wright matching his season high of four and Smith collecting three.
It was the sixth time this season that Xavier allowed 50 or fewer points. The Gold Rush entered the game ranked second in NAIA Division I scoring defense.
Xavier beat SUNO at The Castle for the eighth time in its last nine visits. It was the 100th meeting between the Gold Rush and Knights — Xavier leads the series 71-29 with 20 victories in the last 24 games.
Xavier will play GCAC rival Dillard at 5 p.m. Saturday in the second game of the Crosstown Classic doubleheader at XU's Convocation Center. Advance tickets are available all week in room 322 of the Convocation Center Annex.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information DirectorXULAgold.com


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