Gold Rush open with 77-65 home victory against Crowley’s Ridge

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana defeated Crowley’s Ridge 77-65 Monday in the regular-season opener for both NAIA men’s basketball teams.

The Gold Rush erased a 12-7 deficit with a 15-3 run and did not lose the lead thereafter.

Xavier Reaves scored 11 points for XULA, and Cory Wells had 10 points and seven rebounds. Brian White made back-to-back 3s during the first-half rally.

Also contributing for the Gold Rush were TJ Jones with seven points, five assists and three steals, Cameron Wells — Cory’s brother — with nine points, five rebounds, three steals and three blocked shots and Corey Dunning with eight points and two blocked shots.

J.D. Smith scored 16 points, B.J. Johnson 15 and Bo Roberson 14 for the Pioneers. Johnson grabbed nine rebounds, and Roberson had eight rebounds and five assists.

XULA led 41-34 at halftime and by 15 twice in the second half.

The Gold Rush, which won its season opener for the 26th time in its last 27 attempts, has won 27 consecutive home openers.

XULA will travel to Notre Dame for a 7 p.m. Wednesday exhibition, then play LeMoyne-Owen at 2 p.m. Saturday for homecoming. It will be a doubleheader Saturday; XULA’s women will play LeMoyne-Owen at 11 a.m.

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