Saturday, February 13, 2016

William Carey wins at XU, stretches streak to 12

NEW ORLEANS — Senior guard Donta Pittman scored seven points in a closing run Thursday that carried NAIA No. 15 William Carey to a 65-51 men's basketball victory against Xavier University of Louisiana.
The Crusaders (17-8) won their 12th in row — their seventh straight by double digits — and snapped the two-game win streak of the Gold Rush (17-9).
Xavier led 48-47 — its only advantage of the second half — after Morris Wright's 3-pointer with 8:56 remaining, but the Crusaders outscored the Rush 18-3 thereafter. Pittman scored seven points in a 9-0 run during the final 2:23.
Pittman also had six rebounds, five assists and two steals. Teammate Leo Garrett scored 14 points, including 4-of-5 3-pointers.
Wright scored in double figures for the 34th consecutive time, but his 13 points were his third-lowest this season. Wright was 5-of-18 from the floor, 2-of-11 on 3-pointers, and made 1-of-4 free throws. Wright's first points came on a trey in the 15th minute. Elex Carter had 12 points and eight rebounds for the Gold Rush, and Kevin Murph and Jarvis Thibodeaux scored eight apiece. Thibodeaux grabbed five rebounds, and Murph had career highs of three assists and three steals.
William Carey outshot Xavier 50 to 38 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Gold Rush 35-26. The field-goal percentage was the best by an XU opponent this season.
Pittman had 10 points and Garrett eight to lead the Crusaders to a 36-28 halftime advantage. But Xavier rallied, and Thibodeaux's two free throws and basket gave the Gold Rush ties at 43 and 45.
The Gold Rush and Crusaders split their two-game season series — Xavier won 64-61 at Hattiesburg, Miss., Dec. 12 — and William Carey won for the third time in four tries at Xavier's Convocation Center, which opened in 2012. The Crusaders scored their biggest winning margin at Xavier since the 1998-99 season.
Xavier will play its final regular-season home game at 7:30 p.m. Monday against Gulf Coast Athletic Conference opponent SUNO at the Convocation Center.


Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

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