2,404 fans watch XULA beat Dillard 73-50

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NEW ORLEANS — Rayshawn Mart missed two games this week because of an injury, but the Xavier University of Louisiana men’s basketball standout was healthier and productive Saturday in a 73-50 victory against Dillard in the Crosstown Classic.

Mart — a fifth-year player and a first-team NAIA All-America guard this past season — produced 20 points, nine rebounds and no turnovers and passed Juan Mercier to reach second place on XULA’s career points list with 1,741. Merlin Peters holds the school record of 1,960 points.

XULA (4-1) became the first opponent with a pair of 20-point victories during Mike Newell’s seven seasons as Dillard’s head coach. Newell’s teams won seven of their first eight meetings against the Gold Rush, but XULA has won six of the last seven, including the last five.

“I had a great week of rehab on my arm,” said Mart, who was 8-of-16 from the floor and 4-of-5 from the line. “I felt great, and I was ready to go.”

Newcomer Jalen King produced his second double-double in three games — 10 points and 11 rebounds, plus two blocks — and Makye Richard, with 11 points, reached double figures for the fifth time in as many games this season. Richard, another fifth-year guard, added game highs of five assists and four steals.

Dillard (3-3) — playing without four injured starters and on the road for the first time this season — got 15 points from Elijah Moore and 11 apiece from Elijah Pittman and Jay Malone. Pittman grabbed 11 rebounds. Malone struggled at the line, missing his first seven free throws and finishing 1-of-8.

XULA led 39-22 at halftime and by 28 in the final two minutes. The Gold Rush outshot the Bleu Devils 43.5 to 28.6 percent from the floor and were plus-6 in rebounds and plus-7 in turnovers.

Attendance was 2,404. It also was XULA’s homecoming.

XULA leads the series 90-58, 10-4 at the Convocation Center. Against all opponents XULA has won 25 of its last 28 home games and 41 of its last 50 games overall.

The city rivals will meet against at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the University of New Orleans’ Lakefront Arena.

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