Sunday, January 22, 2017

Freshman guards provide spark in 4th straight Rush win

NEW ORLEANS — Freshman guards Mike Williams and Donovan Armstrong keyed a second-half rally Saturday that lifted Xavier University of Louisiana to a 72-69 men's basketball victory against Edward Waters.

The Gold Rush (7-11, 3-0 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference) have a season-best four-game win streak.

Williams scored all his points midway through the second half — 3-pointers on consecutive possessions that erased an Edward Waters lead. Williams' second trey, at 10:43, put XULA ahead to stay at 53-51.

Armstrong scored a game- and career-best 19 points, 14 in the second half. Armstrong had five assists and one turnover in 32 minutes.

Innocent Kukulu scored 11 points and made three 3-pointers for XULA, and Leland Alexander grabbed a career-high-tying 11 rebounds. Elex Carter blocked four shots to match his career best.

Keith Williams scored 18 points and made three 3-pointers for the Tigers (9-11, 3-2), and Josiah Crawford scored 10. Brandon Miller of Edward Waters missed a 3-pointer on the game's final possession.

XULA led 37-35 at halftime. The Gold Rush finished at a season-low 35.8 percent from the floor but limited Edward Waters to 34.6 percent. The loss was the Tigers' first in four games.

XULA will travel to Little Rock, Ark., to play GCAC opponent Philander Smith at 7:30 p.m. Monday. Then the Gold Rush will return home to face NAIA No. 14 Dillard in the Crosstown Classic at 5 p.m. Saturday at XULA's Convocation Center. XULA and Dillard are the only unbeaten teams in GCAC games.


Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

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