Miller, Joseph help unbeaten Rush win 80-71 at Mobile
November 14, 2011
MOBILE, Ala. — Kevin Miller scored a career-high
20 points Monday, and Wanto Joseph had a season-high 16 to lead NAIA No. 21 Xavier
University of Louisiana to an 80-71 men's basketball victory at Mobile.
The Gold Rush (3-0) took the lead for good in the 18th
minute when Miller grabbed an offensive rebound, then passed to Jamaan Kenner
for a 3-pointer and a 37-35 advantage. Xavier led 44-41 at halftime and held its
biggest lead, 73-59, on an Anthony Simmons basket with 2:39 remaining.
Miller reached double figures for the first time this
season and shattered his previous career best of 13 points. Joseph, a 5-foot-9
reserve point guard and the team's shortest player, is the only
XU player to reach double figures in all three regular-season games.
Ji Kimbrough scored 27 points, 17 in the first half,
and made 14-of-14 free throws for Mobile (2-1), and Jonathan Tinch scored 15.
The Rams were the preseason favorite in the Southern States Athletic Conference West Division.
Both teams shot 44 percent from the floor. Xavier made
28-of-37 free throws, and Mobile made 20-of-24. Cordell Hadnot grabbed a season-best
eight rebounds for Xavier, which had a 35-30 advantage on the boards.
Eleven Gold Rush players scored, including
Simmons with nine points and seven rebounds and Kenner with season highs of eight
points and two 3-pointers.
Brock Dockery's basket with 18:18 remaining reduced
Xavier's lead to 47-45, but the Rush followed with an 11-2 run which included
a Miller 3-pointer, two Denzell Erves baskets and three Chris Iles assists.
Xavier led by at least seven points for the final 8:52.
The Gold Rush have won four straight and seven of eight
against Mobile and lead the series 29-26. The teams will meet again Dec. 6
at The Barn.
Xavier will play Wiley for homecoming at 2 p.m.
Saturday at The Barn, and PSBlive.com will webcast
that game and the XU women's contest against Huston-Tillotson at noon.
NOTES: Kimbrough scored eight points in
the final 2:31 after Xavier established its largest lead . . . The Gold Rush are 3-0 for the 10th
consecutive season . . . The XU men have won 34 of their past 41 games and
are 10-3 on opponents' courts during that time . . . Xavier's four consecutive victories
against Mobile match its longest streak in the series . . . It's the first time
in 10 games that either team reached 80 points in the series, and it's the first
time in 13 games that both teams reached 70 . . . Iles, a 17-point scorer
Friday at home against St. Thomas (Fla.), didn't score again after making
2-of-2 free throws in the second minute. He's 12-of-12 from the line this season
and has made 16 in a row dating to this past season . . . Simmons grabbed
five offensive rebounds, giving him 14 in three games. Simmons needed
nine games in 2010-11 to reach 14 offensive rebounds . . .
The Gold Rush are 10-1 against five former Gulf Coast Athletic Conference opponents —
Mobile, Belhaven, Loyola, Spring Hill and William Carey — since they
left the league in the summer of 2010 to join the Southern States. Xavier, Belhaven,
Spring Hill and William Carey were GCAC charter members in 1981-82.