NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana had six double-figure scorers Thursday in a 92-73 men’s basketball victory against Paul Quinn.
The Gold Rush (3-5), ranked 25th in the NAIA, improved to 3-0 this season against HBCUs.
Freshman Innocent Kukulu scored 17 of his career-high 22 points in the first half for XULA. He made 5-of-7 3-pointers, 4-of-5 in the first half. Leland Alexander had 17 points and nine rebounds, and freshman Donovan Armstrong had career bests of 14 points, nine assists, two blocks and three steals.
Also in double figures for the Gold Rush were Jalen David and Seth Jackson with 11 points apiece and Mike Williams with 10, all in the second half.
Jalen Johnson produced 20 points, including 5-of-8 3-pointers, and six assists for the Tigers (0-7), and Blake Ervin had 18 points and six assists. Paul Quinn has lost 33 straight dating to early last season.
XULA shot a season-high 66.7 percent from the floor — 72.7 percent in the second half — and scored its most points in a game this season. Paul Quinn shot 47.4 percent. Both teams committed 24 turnovers, and the Gold Rush notched a season-best 13 steals. XULA won the boards 31-25, and freshman Jerry Gibson had a career-high eight rebounds.
XULA led 47-32 at halftime and held a double-digit advantage for the final 29 minutes. The Gold Rush led by 23 three times in the final four minutes. XULA never trailed and led for good after Kukulu’s three free throws in the opening minute.
This was the teams’ first meeting since 2008. They’ll also play Dec. 29 in Dallas.
Next for XULA will be a 7 p.m. game Dec. 16 at city rival Loyola. The Gold Rush will take semester exams Dec. 7-14.