Sunday, February 21, 2016

Stellar defense gives Rush a GCAC road victory

JACKSONVILLE, Florida — Morris Wright's 200th career 3-pointer put Xavier University of Louisiana ahead to stay Saturday in a 42-39 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference men's basketball victory against Edward Waters.

Xavier (18-10, 5-5) allowed its fewest points in more than 100 games to snap a two-game losing streak.
Wright, who led all scorers with 13 points, made his only 3-pointer of the game with 10:44 remaining to give Xavier a 28-26 lead. Wright capped the scoring with two free throws with 11 seconds remaining, and Charles-Eddie Smith of Edward Waters (11-15, 3-7) missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Wright is the second Gold Rush player to make 200 career 3-pointers. Mark Stewart, whose career ended in 2008, made 299.
No other Xavier player scored more than six points. Elex Carter grabbed 12 rebounds and Kevin Murph seven, both career highs, and Leland Alexander and Chris Ward had five rebounds apiece. Wright had three steals.
Cameron Venus scored 11 points and Oceann Maddox nine for the Tigers.
Xavier limited Edward Waters to 26.4 percent field-goal shooting — 18.2 percent (6-of-33) in the final 25 minutes. Xavier ranks third in NAIA Division I in scoring defense and fourth in field-goal percentage defense.
After a halftime tie at 18, Edward Waters twice led by three, the second time at 26-23 with 11:31 remaining after a pair of Venus free throws.
Xavier set a GCAC record for fewest points by a winning team. The points were Xavier's fewest in a victory since a 35-33 decision over Clark (Ga.) in the 1948-49 season.
The Gold Rush are 9-0 against Edward Waters since the Tigers joined the GCAC in 2010.
Xavier will finish the regular season with GCAC games at Tougaloo at 7:30 p.m. Monday and at Dillard at 5 p.m. Saturday.


Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

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