Rayshawn Mart, Xavier (La.)
Photo: Yamlak Tsega/XULA Athletics

NEW ORLEANS — Rayshawn Mart scored 27 points Wednesday to lead NAIA No. 20 Xavier University of Louisiana in a 79-58 men’s basketball victory against Southeastern Baptist.

Mart, a senior guard and an honorable-mention All-American each of the past two seasons, was 9-of-13 from the floor and 6-of-6 from the line in 30 minutes. He made 3-of-6 3-pointers and contributed five rebounds, two assists and three steals.

Mart scored the most points by a XULA player in an opener since David Egans with 30 against Wiley on Nov. 4, 2000, at The Barn.

Freshman Cory Wells, with 10 points, was XULA’s other double-figure scorer.

Jhamario Bassett led Southeastern Baptist — from Laurel, Miss., and a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association — with 10 points.

XULA led 11-10 before pulling away for a 38-25 halftime lead. XULA’s biggest lead was 31 points when Nigel Allen’s 3-pointer made it 77-46.

“I’m happy for our program to be playing again,” said fifth-year head coach Alfred Williams, whose team won Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships last season but was denied competition at NAIA nationals because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s a blessing to be back on the court. Had some first-game jitters because of 10 new players, but we’ll figure things out and clean things up. The best thing we did was cause turnovers.”

XULA gained 35 turnovers, 21 on steals. TJ Jones, who shared GCAC Freshman of the Year honors last season, had five steals and eight assists.

XULA’s next game will start at 7:30 p.m. next Wednesday at home against Carver. It’ll be a doubleheader; the XULA women will play at 5:30 p.m. against Carver.

XULA women win season opener, defeat SBC 91-44

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana produced five double-figure scorers Wednesday in a 91-44 women’s basketball victory against Southeastern Baptist at the Convocation Center.

XULA’s top four scorers were newcomers. Victory Udechi scored 15, LaMonica Plater had 14, Rayna Ross scored 13 and Jelisa Smith had 12. XULA’s other double-figure scorer was two-year letterwinner Da’Jha Virgil with 10.

XULA led 29-11 after one quarter, 47-19 at halftime and 66-26 through three quarters. XULA outshot SBC 34.4 to 21.8 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Lady Chargers 68-43. XULA committed 12 turnovers and gained 32, 24 by steals.

In addition to her game-high point total, Udechi — a transfer from SUNO, which dropped intercollegiate athletics after the 2019-20 academic year — led everyone with nine rebounds. Plater grabbed eight rebounds, and reserve Lailaa Bashir — a two-time ITA NAIA national tennis doubles champion in her XULA basketball debut — grabbed seven.

Temeshia Gray scored 12 points for Southeastern Baptist, and Cardrina Nolen had nine.

“We played with a lot of energy and a lot of intensity,” 22nd-year XULA head coach Bo Browder said. “We still have a lot of work to do, particularly on offense, but this is an exciting team to be around. They work extra hard every day in practice. It’s a very coachable group of young ladies. I think we’re going to be a balanced team from a scoring standpoint, with multiple players who can score and contribute.”

XULA’s next game will start at 5:30 p.m. next Wednesday against Carver.

Courtesy: XULA Athletics


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