Dennis leads Jackson State past NAIA Xavier (La.), 66-54

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) Edric Dennis scored 21 points to lead Jackson State to a 66-54 over Xavier (Louisiana), in the Tigers' season opener on Friday.

Chace Franklin added 13 points, Yettra Specks had 10 and Janarius Middleton had seven points to go with 10 rebounds for Jackson State. Dennis had nine rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block.

Freshman Mike Williams led the NAIA Gold Rush (1-2), who counted the game as an exhibition, with 18 points.

The Tigers forced the Gold Rush into 25 turnovers and held them to 32.5 percent shooting. They also had a 15-6 advantage in offensive rebounding.

Jackson State led 33-20 at halftime.