TALLADEGA, Ala. — Jordan Washington scored 34 points and made a career-high eight 3-pointers Monday to lead NAIA No. 15 Talladega to a 90-76 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference men’s basketball victory against Xavier University of Louisiana.
Washington, a senior guard and No. 2 in NAIA Division I scoring average, reached 30 points for the sixth time this season and the second game in a row. He scored 19 second-half points.
Qua Doster scored 22 points, Patrick Green 13 and Marcus Brown 12 to help the Tornadoes (17-6, 3-2) win their third in a row and move into a second-place tie in the GCAC with Philander Smith.
Freshman Innocent Kukulu scored 18 points on 6-of-8 3-pointers for the Gold Rush (7-14, 3-3). Jalen David scored 16 points, Seth Jackson 14 and Chris Ward 13. Jackson made 3-of-4 3-pointers.
Talladega led 21-4 after 3 1/2 minutes and 41-19 on Washington’s 3-pointer at 5:09 of the first half. XULA outscored the Tornadoes 57-49 thereafter and twice closed to eight points in the game’s final three minutes. Talladega led 48-35 at halftime and maintained a double-digit lead for 36-of-40 minutes.
Both teams shot 52.9 percent from the floor. Talladega dominated at the line, making 25-of-35 free throws to XULA’s 12-of-26.
XULA played without two starters — one injured, the other serving a one-game suspension.
XULA, which entered the game in a second-place tie in the conference, slipped to a tie for fourth after its third consecutive loss. The Gold Rush will travel to Jacksonville, Fla., for a 5 p.m. EST Saturday GCAC game against Edward Waters.