Gold Rush drop second straight to ranked opponent

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Xavier University of Louisiana men’s basketball led NAIA No. 16 William Carey at halftime, but the Gold Rush cooled off in the second half and lost 71-62 Tuesday.

The Gold Rush (4-2) have lost two in a row, both to ranked opponents. XULA will play Huston-Tillotson for homecoming at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Convocation Center.

Virgil Davison made 4-of-6 3-pointers and scored 15 points to lead the Gold Rush to a 38-37 halftime advantage. But XULA shot 22.2 percent from the floor — 1-of-16 on 3-pointers — after halftime, and the Crusaders took advantage and earned their first victory of the season.

Troy Salvant, who played for XULA three years ago as a freshman, scored 17 points and had five steals for William Carey (1-1). Jaylen Moore scored 14 points, and Brandon Sheppard had nine points and nine rebounds.

Davison, who made four 3’s for the third time this season, finished with 19 points. Jalen David scored 12, and Elex Carter had 10 points and six rebounds.

For the game William Carey outshot XULA 37 to 29.7 percent from the floor. XULA’s shooting percentages from the floor, 3-point range (24.1) and free throws (60.7) were season lows. XULA’s 21 turnovers matched a season-high.

The Gold Rush led at halftime after trailing 6-0 in the first 90 seconds. William Carey took the lead for good, 41-40, on two Sheppard free throws with 17:36 remaining. The Crusaders’ largest lead was 64-52 after two Maurice Stephens free throws at 4:43.

William Carey made 28-of-38 free throws to XULA’s 17-of-28. The teams will meet again Jan. 17 at XULA.

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