Tuesday, February 28, 2017

XULA Rush, Tigers to lead off GCAC tourney at noon Friday

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana men's basketball will lead off the 2017 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament with a noon game Friday against Edward Waters at Dillard's Dent Hall.

The GCAC announced seedings and pairings Tuesday for the seven-team event, which is being played in New Orleans for the fourth consecutive year.

The Gold Rush (10-19) are seeded fourth by virtue of their 6-6 conference record and fourth-place finish. Edward Waters (12-17, 5-7) tied for fifth place with Tougaloo. Edward Waters and Tougaloo split their two regular-season games, and the Tigers earned the fifth seed in a tiebreaker — their 1-1 record against third-seeded Talladega. Edward Waters and Tougaloo and had identical records against the GCAC's highest two seeds.

The XULA-Edward Waters winner will play top-seeded Dillard at 7 p.m. Saturday at XULA's Convocation Center. All semifinals and finals for the men and women will be played at XULA. Dillard, the regular-season champion, No. 1 seed and defending GCAC Tournament champion, has a first-round bye.

The other men's first-round matchups, also at Dillard Friday, will be Talladega vs. sixth-seeded Tougaloo at 2 p.m. and second-seeded Philander Smith vs. seventh-seeded SUNO at 5 p.m.

XULA and Edward Waters will meet in the GCAC Tournament for the first time. The Gold Rush are 13-2 all-time against the Tigers, including victories of 72-69 at XULA Jan. 21 and 65-61 at Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 4. The Gold Rush have not lost to the Tigers since Jan. 4, 1996, and have a current series win streak of 11.

XULA's leading scorers are 6-foot-4 junior guard/forward Jalen David (11.8 points per game), 6-1 senior guard Seth Jackson (9.8), 6-3 freshman guard Mike Williams (9.3) and 5-9 freshman guard Donovan Armstrong (8.1). Edward Waters' leading scorers are 6-4 senior guard Keith Williams (13.9), 6-6 senior forward Oshey Washington (12.0) and 6-3 junior guard/forward Charles-Eddie Smith (10.0).

XULA was the GCAC Tournament runner-up in 2016, 2015, 2011 and 2008. The Gold Rush have not won this event since 1996.

2017 GCAC Men's Basketball Tournament

First Round — Friday, March 3 (Dillard's Dent Hall)
#4 XULA (10-19) vs. #5 Edward Waters (12-17), noon
#3 Talladega (21-9) vs. #6 Tougaloo (10-15), 2 p.m.
#2 Philander Smith (13-12) vs. #7 SUNO (4-20), 5 p.m.

Semifinals — Saturday, March 4 (XULA's Convocation Center)
Talladega-Tougaloo winner vs. Philander Smith-SUNO winner, 2 p.m.
XULA-Edward Waters winner vs. #1 Dillard (22-7), 7 p.m.

Championship — Sunday, March 5 (XULA's Convocation Center)
Semifinal winners, 4:15 p.m.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director


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