Gold Rush hold on to win 75-70 at Loyola

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NEW ORLEANS — Joseph Williams scored a career-high 16 points Saturday, and Xavier University of Louisiana held on for a 75-70 men’s basketball victory against city rival Loyola at The Den.

The Gold Rush (8-4) will play the University of the Virgin Islands at 5 p.m. Sunday and Rust at 7 p.m. Monday in the Xavier Classic at the Convocation Center.

Williams reached a career-high point total for the second straight game. The senior — a transfer after three seasons at Freed-Hardeman — also had eight rebounds and four blocked shots.

XULA led 36-23 at halftime and by 17 points in the second half. The Wolf Pack (6-5) cut the deficit to one point but never tied or grabbed the lead late. Loyola produced six straight scoreless possessions with less than four minutes remaining.

Freshman Rayshawn Mart, in double figures for the fifth straight game, scored 14 points for XULA and had game-highs of nine rebounds and three steals. His final steal occurred in the backcourt after Jeff Dixon made a pair of free throws in the closing seconds for the game’s final points.

Dixon scored 15 points, and Virgil Davison had 12.

Ethan Turner made five 3-pointers and scored 17 points for Loyola, and Tensey Aldridge scored 15.

Loyola outshot XULA 44.8 to 38.6 percent from the floor, but the Gold Rush dominated at the line, making 26-of-36 free throws to the Wolf Pack’s 9-of-15. XULA was plus-6 in turnovers, committing 13 and gaining 19.

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