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Kennedy's career night keeps Gold Rush atop GCAC
For immediate release . . . February 22, 2007
Box Score

HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Freshman Cornelius Kennedy scored 11 of his career-high 17 points in the final 4:10 Thursday to help Xavier University of Louisiana preserve an 86-80 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference men's basketball victory against William Carey.

Xavier's 12th victory in 13 games kept the Gold Rush (19-8, 12-5 GCAC) in a first-place tie with Tougaloo for the conference lead with one game remaining for each. Xavier will visit Dillard, and Belhaven will visit Tougaloo on Saturday.

Mark Stewart scored 20 points, Alfred Williams a career-high 19, Shaun Dumas 18 and Kelechi Okoroha 10 for Xavier.

NAIA Division I scoring leader Jarekus Singleton led William Carey (18-10, 10-7) with 22 points. It was the Crusaders' first home loss this season in 14 games.

Jeremy Holder's basket with 1:57 remaining tied the score at 74 — the only time Xavier didn't lead in the second half — but the Rush scored during each of its final seven possessions thereafter, including Kennedy's five consecutive points to make it 79-74.

"We were resilient," Xavier Coach Dannton Jackson said. "William Carey kept making runs on us and kept coming back, but we made some big-time shots down the stretch. We shot 55 percent from the field and 81 percent from the line . . . that's like a perfect game."

Tougaloo knocked LSU-Shreveport from a share of the GCAC lead by defeating the Pilots 95-85.

By beating Dillard on Saturday, Xavier would assure itself of no worse than a share of the GCAC regular-season championship. It would be the third time in seven seasons the Gold Rush shares the title; the others occurred in 2000-01 and in 2003-04, Jackson's second season as head coach. Xavier has not won the GCAC regular-season title outright since 1986-87.

Regardless of what happens this weekend, Xavier has secured a first-round bye in the GCAC Tournament and a home game in the quarterfinals next Thursday, one night after Xavier's women host their quarterfinal contest.

 

 
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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