Sunday, February 7, 2016
Gold Rush heat up to beat DU in Crosstown Classic
NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana rallied Saturday for a 69-61 men's basketball victory against NAIA No. 21 Dillard in the Crosstown Classic at XU's Convocation Center.
The Gold Rush (17-8, 4-4 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference) trailed 10-0 after five minutes and 16-4 after eight but shot 63.2 percent from the floor in the final 31 1/2 minutes. Morris Wright, scoreless for the first 12 minutes, finished with a game-high 20 points for Xavier. RJ Daniels had 13 points, a season-high nine rebounds and a career-high-tying two blocks, and Gary Smith scored 10.
Demetric Austin had 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Bleu Devils (14-8, 5-2), and Montrey Thomas scored 15.
Dillard led the first 29 minutes, including 32-28 at halftime. Daniels' basket with 9:16 remaining put Xavier ahead to stay, 47-45. Xavier extended its lead in the final four minutes by making its final three 3-point attempts — the first by Smith, the final two by Wright.
Xavier finished the game at 50 percent from the floor and limited the Bleu Devils to 34.3 percent. Dillard grabbed 21 offensive rebounds and outrebounded the Gold Rush 41-31. Xavier blocked a season-high seven shots, three by freshman Kevin Murph.
Xavier clinched a 16th consecutive winning season, which extended a school record. It's Xavier 25th consecutive non-losing season.
Attendance was 1,768, the fifth-largest for an XU men's basketball game in the four-year history of the Convocation Center. Both XU basketball teams played at home on the Saturday before Mardi Gras for the first time since 2005. The GCAC's tentative 2017 schedule has Xavier out of town on the Saturday before Mardi Gras.
Xavier will play host to NAIA No. 18 William Carey in a non-conference game at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Convocation Center.
Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director
XAVIER UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA