Gold Rush 3-0 after rallying to defeat city rival SUNO

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier Reaves had 16 points and 14 rebounds, and Xavier University of Louisiana rallied in the second half for a 60-53 men’s basketball home victory against city rival SUNO.

The Gold Rush, 3-0 for the first time since 2018-19, will play Johnson C. Smith at 6:30 p.m. EST Tuesday in the Boost Mobile Chris Paul HBCU Tip Off at Uncasville, Conn. XULA will play Clark Atlanta or Virginia Union the following day.

Reaves became the first Gold Rush player since William Loyd in 2019-20 to produce back-to-back double-doubles. The fifth-year player — a graduate transfer from NCAA Division III Marymount (Md.) — was 8-of-13 from the floor and had three assists, three steals and two blocks in 34 minutes.

SUNO (2-3), fielding a team for the first time in three seasons — its roster consisted of eight freshmen and four sophomores — led 11-2 through four minutes and grabbed its largest lead, 25-15, when Brock Brown made 1-of-2 free throws. The Knights led 32-28 at halftime.

Reaves and Brian White led XULA’s rally. White, a fifth-year transfer from NCAA Division I Northwestern State, scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half. Reaves had eight points and 10 rebounds in that period.

XULA scored 11 consecutive points to take a 58-49 lead. A TJ Jones basket at 2:14 concluded the surge.

Jones finished with 12 points, four assists and three steals. White had four assists.

Bespectacled Devin Daniels had 14 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks for SUNO, which lost its third in a row. Raheem Kone had 11 points and nine rebounds, and Isaiah Sanders scored 10.

XULA outshot the Knights 37.9 to 35.1 percent from the floor and outrebounded them 48-34. SUNO struggled at the line, making 3-of-9 free throws in the second half and 8-of-18 overall.

NOTES: XULA won 63 of its last 77 games and 37 of its last 42 home games . . . The Gold Rush are 80-30 all-time against SUNO (8-1 Convocation Center) and won nine straight and 12 of the last 13 meetings . . . This was the final Gold Rush home game before the Red River Athletic Conference opener Nov. 28 against Louisiana Christian.

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