Rush schedule has Georgia trips, earlier homecoming

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana men’s basketball will travel twice to Georgia, play its homecoming game on an earlier weekend and play nine games against opponents that qualified last season for the NAIA Division I National Championship tournament.

Fourth-year head coach Alfred Williams announced Monday the 2019-20 schedule, which will tip off Oct. 25 in Thomasville, Ga., against Thomas University.

Game two will be Oct. 26 in Brunswick, Ga., against first-time opponent Coastal Georgia, then the XULA men will play their home opener Oct. 30 against another Georgia team, Carver College of Atlanta.

The Gold Rush will return to Georgia for games against NCAA Division II members Columbus State (Nov. 16) and Clark Atlanta (Nov. 17). Columbus State will be the other Gold Rush first-time opponent.

“We’re looking forward to going to Georgia and giving Xavier alumni over there a chance to see us play,” Williams said.

XULA homecoming games in recent years were played the Saturday before Thanksgiving. But this time the Gold Rush will play NCAA Division II LeMoyne-Owen Nov. 9 as part of XULA’s homecoming celebration Nov. 6-10.

The 2019 NAIA national tourney teams on the schedule will be:
•  William Carey (semifinalist) — Nov. 5 home, Nov. 30 road.
•  Wiley (round of 16) — Nov. 20 home.
•  City rival Loyola (round of 16) — Nov. 26 home, Dec. 14 road.
•  Talladega — Jan. 25 home, Feb. 22 road.
•  Tougaloo (defending Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament champion) — Feb. 8 road, March 2 home.

“Our schedule, both non-conference and conference, will be extremely competitive,” Williams said.
XULA will play GCAC and city rival Dillard Feb. 15 at home in the Crosstown Classic and Feb. 29 at Lakefront Arena (University of New Orleans) during DU’s Bleu Devil Classic. XULA’s other GCAC and city rival, SUNO, will play host to the Gold Rush Jan. 20 and visit XULA Feb. 17.

The lone Gold Rush exhibition will be Nov. 11 at NCAA Division I Southeastern Louisiana.
XULA returnees include senior forward William Loyd and junior guard Rayshawn Mart, both of whom earned NAIA Division I All-America honorable mention last season. Also back is junior guard Ed Carter, who tied the XULA game record with eight made 3-pointers against Philander Smith.

“We will be better than we were last season,” Williams said. “We’ll have many seniors, so we’ll have the best experience in our conference. Our team will be able to defend and run in transition. We should be able to be disruptive on defense and use our defense to create things for us offensively.”

The GCAC Tournament will be March 6-8 in New Orleans, followed by the NAIA Division I National Championship March 18-24 at Kansas City, Mo. This will be the final season of two NAIA basketball divisions; all basketball schools will play in one division in 2020-21.

NOTES:  XULA will play in Georgia for the first time since visiting Morehouse and Clark Atlanta in January 2003 . . . This is the 81st season of XULA men’s basketball . . . XULA was 18-14 overall, 8-6 GCAC in 2018-19 . . . All XULA games at the Convocation Center will be streamed live, same as a year ago . . . This will be XULA’s eighth season in the Convocation Center, which seats nearly 4,000 and has all-chairback seating . . . The venue for XULA’s season opener is about 60 miles southeast of Donalsonville, Ga., the home of Gold Rush junior guard Anfernee King . . . Teammate and senior guard Donovan Armstrong(Round Rock, Texas), also will get to play near his hometown when the Gold Rush visit Huston-Tillotson Nov. 23 in Austin . . . Carver will be the opponent in the home opener for the second consecutive season and the sixth time in 11 seasons.

Xavier University of Louisiana
2019-20 Men’s Basketball Schedule

Oct. 25 (Fri.):  at Thomas, 5 p.m. EDT
Oct. 26 (Sat.):  at Cosatal Georgia, 5 p.m. EDT
Oct. 30 (Wed.):  CARVER, 7 p.m.
Nov. 2 (Sat.):  at Mobile (DH), 4 p.m.
Nov. 5 (Tue.):  WILLIAM CAREY, 7 p.m.
Nov. 9 (Sat.):  LeMOYNE-OWEN, 1 p.m.  (Homecoming)
Nov. 11 (Mon.):  at Southeastern Louisiana, 7:30 p.m.  (exhibition)
Nov. 16 (Sat.):  at Columbus State, 3:30 p.m. EST
Nov. 17 (Sun.):  at Clark Atlanta, TBA
Nov. 20 (Wed.):  WILEY, 7 p.m.
Nov. 22 (Fri.):  at Texas College, 6 p.m.
Nov. 23 (Sat.):  at Huston-Tillotson, 6 p.m.
Nov. 26 (Tue.):  LOYOLA (N.O.), 7 p.m.
Nov. 30 (Sat.):  at William Carey (DH), 4 p.m.
Dec. 14 (Sat.):  at Loyola (N.O.) (DH), TBA
Dec. 17 (Tue.):  MOBILE (DH), 5 p.m.
Jan. 7 (Tue.):  TEXAS COLLEGE, 7 p.m.
Jan. 11 (Sat.)  •  at Philander Smith (DH), 4 p.m.
Jan. 13 (Mon.)  •  at Rust (DH), 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 20 (Mon.)  •  at SUNO (DH), 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 25 (Sat.):  •  TALLADEGA (DH), 5 p.m.
Jan. 27 (Mon.):  •  EDWARD WATERS (DH), 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 1 (Sat.):  •  RUST (DH), 5 p.m.
Feb. 3 (Mon.):  •  PHILANDER SMITH (DH), 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 8 (Sat.)  •  at Tougaloo (DH), 5 p.m.
Feb. 15 (Sat.):  •  DILLARD (DH), 5 p.m.  (Crosstown Classic)
Feb. 17 (Mon.):  •  SUNO (DH), 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 22 (Sat.)  •  at Talladega (DH), 5 p.m.
Feb. 24 (Mon.)  •  at Edward Waters (DH), 7:30 p.m. EST
Feb. 29 (Sat.)  •  at Dillard (DH), 5 p.m.  (at UNO Lakefront Arena)
March 2 (Mon.):  •  TOUGALOO (DH), 7:30 p.m.
March 6-8 (Fri.-Sun.):  Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament at New Orleans
March 18-24 (Wed.-Tue.):  NAIA Division I National Championship at Kansas City, Mo., TBA

Home games in BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS
•  Gulf Coast Athletic Conference game
(DH) Doubleheader with XULA’s women
All times are Central except where noted
Schedule is subject to change

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