Gold Rush complete season sweep of city rival Loyola

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NEW ORLEANS — Jalen David tied his season high of 21 points, and Elex Carter blocked a career-best six shots Wednesday to lift Xavier University of Louisiana to an 82-72 men’s basketball victory against city rival Loyola.

The Gold Rush (15-6) snapped a two-game losing streak and swept the season series from the Wolf Pack (10-8) for the first time since 2010-11. XULA leads the series 35-12.

David, a senior guard/forward, was 8-of-13 from the floor and led his team with seven rebounds and three steals. Carter became the XULA player to reach six blocks since Denzell Erves at Tougaloo on Feb. 18, 2013. Carter blocked four shots in the first four minutes of the second half.

Freshman Rayshawn Mart scored a career-best 19 points for the Gold Rush, and Jeff Dixon had 14 points and nine assists.

Terry Smith scored 20 points, Nick Parker 19 and Chris Eckholdt 14 for Loyola. Parker scored 15 in the second half.

XULA closed the first half with a 12-2 run to take its first lead, 32-31, at halftime, but had to rally again in the second half after Eckholdt’s basket gave Loyola a 59-44 lead with 10:14 remaining. The Gold Rush outscored the Wolf Pack 14-3 in the final five minutes and took the lead for good on David’s basket with 4:22 remaining.

XULA shot 59.3 percent from the floor in the second half and for the game outshot Loyola 51.8 to 44.4 percent. XULA outrebounded Loyola 30-28. The Wolf Pack made 26-of-33 free throws to the Gold Rush’s 18-of-24.

XULA will travel to Hawkins, Texas, about 100 miles east of Dallas, for its final regular-season non-conference game — 7:30 p.m. Friday against Jarvis Christian. The next home game will start at 7:30 p.m. Monday against Gulf Coast Athletic Conference and city rival SUNO, and one fan will have an opportunity to win free Raising Cane’s food for one year.

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