Mart’s plucky 13 gives XULA overtime victory over Rust

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TALLADEGA, Ala. — When Rayshawn Mart took over Tuesday, it was over.

The Xavier University of Louisiana senior standout scored 13 of his game-high 28 points in overtime in a 79-74 men’s basketball victory against Rust during the second day of Gulf Coast Athletic Conference group play.

XULA (5-1, 2-0) will try for its third GCAC victory in three days in a noon Wednesday matchup against Philander Smith.

The Gold Rush never trailed in overtime, and Mart scored his team’s first 12 points of the extra period. He reached 20 points for the fifth time this season.

“Ray was off-balance for much of the game,” XULA head coach Alfred Williams said, “but he found his rhythm at the right time. He hit a big three to open the overtime, and he put us on his back. He was spectacular for sure.”

Three other XULA starters joined Mart in double figures. Makye Richard scored 20 points for the third consecutive game, and TJ Jones and Corey Dunning scored 11 apiece. Dunning, a freshman, reached double figures for the first time at XULA and blocked two shots.

Mart’s newest stat-sheet-filling performance included two assists and game highs of 10 rebounds and four steals.

Rust (2-6, 0-2) also had four double-figure scorers. Jerrez Porter had 16 points, Jordan Jackson 14, DeAvion Washington 11 and Eric Stimage 10. The Bearcats kept it close despite 30 turnovers, eight apiece by Jackson and Christopher Agbo.

“Rust is a much-improved team,” Williams said. “They’re talented and play hard. We had to fight. But I was proud of our guys. They never quit. They stuck with it and competed for 45 minutes. That’s what I like about our guys.”

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