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Gold Rush earns a share of GCAC championship
For immediate release . . . February 24, 2007
Box Score

NEW ORLEANS — Mark Stewart scored 22 points, including two free throws which sent the game into overtime, and tied Xavier University of Louisiana's career record for 3-point field goals during an 88-81 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference men's basketball victory against Dillard at Dent Hall.

The Gold Rush (20-8, 13-5) earned a share of the GCAC regular-season championship with Tougaloo and will host Spring Hill or Loyola at The Barn on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. Xavier will be the No. 2 seed.

Kelechi Okoroha had 15 points and seven rebounds for Xavier, and Shaun Dumas had 14 points, nine assists and six steals.

Dupree Fletcher scored 32 points for Dillard (7-18, 5-13), and Germaine Jordan had 20 points and 14 rebounds.

Stewart's free throws with 1.4 seconds remaining in regulation tied the score at 75. Stewart scored five points in overtime, including a 3-pointer at 3:07 to put the Gold Rush ahead to stay at 80-77. That was Stewart's 185th career 3-pointer, which tied Dale Montgomery's Xavier record set from 1992-96.

Fletcher had controlled the long rebound of teammate Cornice Wingate's missed throw in the final seconds of regulation and tried to dribble out the clock in the backcourt with Xavier players in pursuit. But Fletcher stepped on the Xavier baseline, giving the Gold Rush the ball with 4.6 seconds remaining. Stewart then was fouled during Xavier's next possession and swished the tying free throws — but regulation did not end until Fletcher's 50-foot shot rimmed out at the buzzer.

Jordan's basket at 4:19 gave Dillard its only lead of the overtime, 77-75. Xavier scored 11 of the next 13 points to clinch a two-game regular-season sweep of its longtime city rival.

Cornelius Kennedy scored 13 points for Xavier, and Alfred Williams had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The Gold Rush outshot the Blue Devils 53 to 41 percent from the floor. The victory was the third in a row for Xavier and the 13th in its last 14 games. Xavier earned a share of the GCAC title after losing its first four conference games and reached 20 victories for the fourth time in Dannton Jackson's four seasons as head coach. Xavier has produced 24 seasons of 20 or more victories, the most in the history of Louisiana men's college basketball. Louisiana-Lafayette is second in 20-win seasons with 20, and LSU and Louisiana Tech are tied for third with 18.

It was the first men's basketball game in Dillard's Dent Hall since Hurricane Katrina hit metro New Orleans in August 2005.

 

 
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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New Orleans, LA 70125
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