Rush crush Tigers, get quick rematch with Talladega

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NEW ORLEANS — Virgil Davison picked up where he left off Wednesday, making his first four 3-pointers and scoring 23 points to lead NAIA No. 25 Xavier University of Louisiana to a 68-47 men’s basketball victory Friday against Edward Waters in the opening round of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament at Dillard’s Dent Hall.

The Gold Rush (23-7), seeded second, will play third seed Talladega in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Saturday at XULA’s Convocation Center. Talladega beat SUNO 102-80.

On Wednesday XULA got 26 points from Davison and beat Talladega 74-62 to clinch a share of the GCAC regular-season championship with Dillard.

Davison was 4-of-4 from long range in 89 seconds to turn a tie at 7 into a 19-9 XULA lead at 12:29 of the first half. The Gold Rush didn’t lose the lead thereafter.

Jalen David had 13 points and eight rebounds for the Gold Rush, and Joseph Williams had 11 points and six rebounds.
Reserve point guard Donovan Armstrong also grabbed eight rebounds, a career high that tied David for game-high honors.

Omar Banaga scored 12 points, Will Ibeh 11 and Robert Thomas 10 for seventh-seeded Edward Waters (8-21).

The Gold Rush outshot the Tigers 47.5 to 35 percent from the floor. XULA made 24-of-41 free throws to the Tigers’ 14-of-23.

“It was an OK effort,” XULA coach Alfred Williams said. “We’re going to have to play much better this weekend to have a chance to win the tournament.”

Williams, however, praised Davison, who finished with five 3-pointers to increase his season total to 84. Davison is No. 4 on the XULA all-time season list for made 3s and the third Gold Rush player to reach 80 in a season. Mark Stewart did it twice (2006-07 and 2007-08), and Morris Wright did it in 2015-16.

“Virgil was ready to rock and roll,” Williams said.

XULA has won four straight and nine of its last 10 games.

XULA led 35-28 at halftime and twice led by 25, the second time at 66-41 when Davison made 4-of-4 free throws — the result of Banaga’s foul and ensuing technical foul

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