LeMoyne-Owen holds on to defeat Rush 85-84 at XULA homecoming

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NEW ORLEANS — LeMoyne-Owen built a 12-point lead late and held on for an 85-84 men’s basketball victory Saturday against Xavier University of Louisiana.

It was XULA’s homecoming, and a season-high crowd of 2,264 watched at the Convocation Center.

William Loyd scored a career-high 30 points for the Gold Rush (4-2), and Rayshawn Mart had 17 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals. It was Mart’s first double-double this season and the fourth of his career.

Tyrone Banks had 18 points and eight assists for the Magicians (1-0), an NCAA Division II member. Devin Booker added 17 points, Kenneth Perkins 14 and Jaquan Lawrence 13.

Jordan Booker’s 3-pointer at 5:39 of the first half put the Magicians ahead to stay, 36-33. LeMoyne-Owen led 42-40 at halftime and 81-69 after a Banks basket with 3:02 remaining. XULA cut the margin to one point in the final 15 seconds and missed a 3-pointer from the left corner at the buzzer.

XULA led most of the first 15 minutes. Its largest lead was 16-9 after Loyd’s basket at 14:28.

LeMoyne-Owen outshot the Gold Rush 53.6 to 37.7 percent from the floor. That was a season low for XULA, which shot better than 50 percent in each of its previous three games. XULA’s 14 missed free throws were a season worst.

“It was a championship game-type atmosphere,” XULA head coach Alfred Williams said. “If we want to be the type of team that we believe we can be, we have to find a way to win those types of games. Obviously, we wanted to win the game, but these games will prepare us for what’s to come.”

XULA will travel to Hammond, La., to play NCAA Division I Southeastern Louisiana at 7 p.m. Monday — XULA is counting the game as an exhibition, but SLU is counting the game in its statistics and records.

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