Stronger start earns Gold Rush votes in national poll

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NEW ORLEANS — For the first time in more than a year, Xavier University of Louisiana earned votes in the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll.

The Gold Rush (6-4) were in the “others receiving votes” category Tuesday, tied for 33rd place with Our Lady of the Lake with four points apiece. It’s the first time since the preseason poll of Oct. 25, 2016, when it was 25th, that XULA appeared in the rankings.

XULA, 10-20 last season, won its first four games this season, including road decisions on consecutive days against St. Thomas (Fla.) and Florida Memorial, both preseason ranked in NAIA Division II. St. Thomas remains in the D2 rankings at 22nd.

Georgetown (Ky.) (13-0) received 7-of-9 first-place votes to climb from fourth to first. LSU-Shreveport (8-0) climbed from 11th to second.

The next rankings will be announced Jan. 2. The Gold Rush will begin fall semester academic final exams Wednesday, then return to the court Dec. 13 with a 7 p.m. home game against Carver College of Atlanta at the Convocation Center.

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