Gold Rush rack up points and roll past Rust 97-53

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NEW ORLEANS — Freshman guard Mike Williams scored 15 points Friday to lead Xavier University of Louisiana in a 97-53 men’s basketball rout of Rust.

The victory gives XULA (5-11) its first two-game winning streak this season.

Williams reached double figures for the first time since Dec. 1 and scored his most points since Nov. 15. He scored 11 in the first half. Williams grabbed a career-best seven rebounds and had four assists and three steals to equal career highs.

Seth Jackson scored 14 points, Chris Ward 13 and Hakeem Simon a career-high 12 for the Gold Rush. Simon was 5-of-5 from the floor and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, and Elex Carter had eight points, seven rebounds and a career-best five assists. Jackson was 6-of-7 from the floor. Innocent Kukulu had a game- and career-high six assists.

Allen Potts scored 19 points for the Bearcats (2-17), and Dewan Fowler had 17.

XULA outscored Rust 58-28 in the second half and finished with its largest winning margin and most assists (29) since November 2007. All 11 Gold Rush players in uniform produced points and rebounds, and 10-of-11 had assists. XULA committed eight personal fouls, its fewest since November 2004.

“Our guys played with a lot of energy,” said XULA coach Alfred Williams, whose team outshot Rust 58.8 to 35 percent from the floor. “I was most excited by our 29 assists and winning the boards by 21.”

XULA is an NAIA member, and Rust competes in NCAA Division III. This was the first matchup of these HBCUs since 1993.

The Gold Rush will play city and Gulf Coast Athletic Conference rival SUNO at 7:30 p.m. Monday at XULA’s Convocation Center. It’ll be a doubleheader; the XULA and SUNO women will meet at 5:30.

NOTES: XULA produced its highest-scoring game and first 50-point half since October 2014 and its highest-scoring half since October 2009 . . . Simon and Carter, both centers, made their only 3-point attempts. It was Simon’s first XULA attempt; Carter is 2-for-3 from long range this season . . . Simon’s six offensive rebounds matched the most in a game by a XULA player this season . . . XULA is 5-1 this season against HBCUs . . . The losing margin was Rust’s largest since December 2013.

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Ed Cassiere

Ed Cassiere

Sports Information Director, Xavier University of Louisiana

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