Xavier Athletics



Xavier men's basketball notes Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I National Championship — First Round
Xavier Gold Rush (24-9) vs. California Baptist Lancers (23-8)
Thursday, March 20, 2008, 9:45 p.m. CDT
Municipal Auditorium (capacity 10,700), Kansas City, Mo.

Briefly: Fourth consecutive appearance at nationals for the Gold Rush, and that extends a school record . . . Xavier seeks back-to-back opening-round victories at nationals for the second time in school history (also 1972 and 1973) . . . A first-round victory also would give Xavier 25 victories this season and the most for the Gold Rush since 1983-84 (27-5) . . . Senior forward Alfred Williams is fourth in NAIA Division I in 3-point field-goal percentage (.464) . . . Matchup of two of the best defensive teams in D-I — Xavier is seventh in scoring defense (64.2), and California Baptist is 15th (65.9).

Series: First meeting.

Rankings: California Baptist was 13th in the final coaches top 25 announced March 5. Xavier was among "others receiving votes" with 36 points and ranked 28th. Xavier was in the top 25 most of the season and climbed as high as No. 8 on Feb. 13.

Seedings: Half the 32 teams were seeded. California Baptist is seeded 10th, and Xavier is unseeded.

In Conference: Xavier was 12-6 and finished third in the 10-team Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. The Rush reached the GCAC tournament for the first time since 1996 before losing 80-76 at regular-season champion LSU-Shreveport . . . California Baptist was 13-7 and in a three-way tie for third in the 11-team Golden State Athletic Conference. The Lancers, like Xavier, lost to the regular-season champion in the conference tournament final. Concordia (Calif.) beat them 87-64.

Streaks: Both teams arrive in Kansas City with one-game losing streaks and 4-5 records in their past nine games. Xavier had winning streaks of seven and six games this season, and California Baptist won its first 11 games en route to a 15-1 start.

Next: The Xavier-California Baptist winner will play Cumberland or seventh-seeded Oklahoma City in the second round at 9:45 p.m. Friday. Cumberland and Oklahoma City will play at 8 p.m. Thursday, immediately preceding the Xavier-California Baptist game. Xavier never has played Cumberland and is 0-1 against Oklahoma City. The Stars defeated the Gold Rush 91-69 in the 2001 NAIA nationals at Tulsa, Okla.

Most Recently: Xavier reached the GCAC Tournament final for the first time since 1996 before losing 80-76 at regular-season champion LSU-Shreveport on March 10. The Gold Rush trailed by 14 points early in the second half but rallied to take a pair of one-point leads, the last at 69-68 with 6:10 remaining. Shaun Dumas scored a season-high 23 points for Xavier. Kelechi Okoroha scored 18, and Dannie Woods and Alfred Williams scored 13 apiece.

NAIA History: This is the 11th appearance of the Gold Rush at nationals and the fourth consecutive time that Xavier is unseeded. Xavier is 4-10 at nationals and made its only quarterfinal appearance in 1973.

Memorable Breakthrough: The Gold Rush ended a long drought at the NAIA nationals with its 82-79 upset of third-seeded Georgetown (Ky.) 82-79 in the 2007 opening round. It was Xavier's first victory in the tournament since 1973. With the score tied at 79, Xavier's Alfred Williams blocked Craig Schoen's 3-point attempt — it was Williams' first blocked shot of the season — then was fouled as he scored the go-ahead basket with seven seconds remaining. Williams missed the free throw, but freshman teammate Olumide Olafioye controlled the rebound and was fouled with two seconds remaining. Olafioye then made the second of two free throws for the final margin. Williams and Olafioye return to Kansas City this season.

Quick Shots:
  ~ Xavier suspended intercollegiate athletics in 2005-06 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and both Gold Rush basketball teams since then have qualified for nationals.
  ~ Xavier made a school-record 215 3-pointers this season.
  ~ Xavier is shooting 38.1 percent from 3-point range and threatening to break the school record of 37.8 set in 1986-87.
  ~ Dannton Jackson is the first coach to lead four Gold Rush teams to nationals. He broke a tie with his predecessor, Dale Valdery, for the school record.
  ~ The California Baptist game will be the 100th at Xavier for junior point guard Shaun Dumas. He needs 20 points to reach 1,000 for his career.
  ~ Xavier won four games this season by breaking a tie or coming from behind in the final 30 seconds of regulation or overtime.
  ~ Xavier is one of 10 Division I schools to qualify men's and women's basketball teams for NAIA nationals in 2007 and 2008. The others are Azusa Pacific, Cumberlands, Lambuth, Lee, Lewis-Clark State, McKendree, Oklahoma Baptist, Oklahoma City and Southern Nazarene.

Xavier Roster
No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown
1 Michael Ruffin G 6-1 So. New Orleans, La.
2 Michael Harvey G 6-1 Fr. Amite, La.
3 Kelechi Okoroha G 6-4 So. Missouri City, Texas
4 Mark Stewart G 6-1 Sr. Destrehan, La.
10 Devin Andrew G 6-4 Fr. Harvey, La.
11 Olumide Olafioye G 6-4 So. River Rouge, Mich.
12 Shaun Dumas G 5-11 Jr. New Orleans, La.
14 Ryan DeRousselle G 6-1 So. Marrero, La.
20 Dannie Woods F 6-7 So. San Antonio, Texas
21 Jarrel Lake F/C 6-8 So. Los Angeles, Calif.
23 Cornelius Kennedy F 6-5 So. Los Angeles, Calif.
24 Alfred Williams F 6-4 Sr. Greenville, S.C.
25 T.J. Prince F/C 6-9 So. Alpharetta, Ga.
HEAD COACH:  Dannton Jackson (Xavier 1992 and 1996) . . . 115-49 in fifth season at Xavier (1-3 at NAIA national tourney).
ASSISTANT COACHES: David Egans (Xavier 2002), second season; Tyronne Waivers (Xavier 1985), first season.
California Baptist Roster
No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown
00 Carl Ross F 6-4 Sr. Fresno, Calif.
3 Marquis Kennedy G 5-10 Jr. Portland, Ore.
11 Kris Corso G 5-8 Fr. Encinitas, Calif.
12 Cesar Menjivar G 5-8 So. Bakersfield, Calif.
15 Daniel Hestehauge G 6-4 Sr. Solvang, Calif.
21 Micah Mooney G 6-3 Jr. Junction City, Ore.
22 Dave Cernin G 6-2 Jr. Hillsboro, Ore.
30 Marl Roussin F 6-7 Jr. Yorba Linda, Calif.
32 Matt Gonzales F 6-7 Jr. Henderson, Nev.
33 Davey Hopkins F 6-5 Fr. Riverside, Calif.
34 Andre Borrows G 6-2 So. Palm Springs, Calif.
40 Blake Henderson F 6-7 Fr. Apple Valley, Calif.
44 Tariq Shaheed C 6-8 Jr. Los Angeles, Calif.
52 Michael Brewer F 6-8 Fr. Bakersfield, Calif.
HEAD COACH:  Tim Collins (Warner Pacific 1976) . . . 110-79 in sixth season at California Baptist (1-2 at NAIA national tourney), 371-242 in 18 seasons overall.
ASSISTANT COACHES: Tim Cook (Orehon 1993), fifth season; Seth Froese (Tabor 1999), second season.

Individual Leaders
Xavier Gold Rush Category California Baptist Lancers
Mark Stewart 13.6 PPG Mark Roussin 17.5
Alfred Williams 7.1 REB Mark Roussin 8.3
Shaun Dumas 4.6 AST Cesar Menjivar 2.4
Kelechi Okoroha 60.7 FG% Mark Roussin 54.0
Mark Stewart 80.4 FT% Mark Roussin 78.5
Alfred Williams 96 FTM Mark Roussin 183
Alfred Williams 46.4 3PT% Davey Hopkins 52.4
Mark Stewart 97 3PTM Dave Cernin 54
Dannie Woods 0.4 BLK Mark Roussin 1.2
Shaun Dumas 2.4 STL Mark Roussin 2.3


Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Xavier fields men's and women's teams in basketball, cross country and tennis.

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