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Williams' late block, basket lead XU past Georgetown
For immediate release . . . March 15, 2007
    First-half play-by-play and box score; second-half play-by-play and final box score.
    Video of the final 1:15.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Alfred Williams' tiebreaking basket with seven seconds remaining lifted unseeded Xavier University of Louisiana to an 82-79 men's basketball victory Thursday against third-seeded Georgetown (Ky.) in the opening round of the NAIA Division I National Tournament at Municipal Auditorium.

The Gold Rush (22-9) won in this tournament for the first time since 1973 and will play Northwestern Oklahoma, a 61-57 winner against Lewis-Clark State, at 8 p.m. Friday in the second round. Xavier snapped the 20-game win streak of Georgetown (29-4).

Williams scored and was fouled moments after blocking Craig Schoen's 3-point attempt — Williams' first blocked shot of the season. 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.

"It was a great win," Xavier Coach Dannton Jackson said. "We got a big defensive stop from Alfred at the end. Georgetown kept coming at us, so we had to be aggressive, too. Even when we were down at halftime, we felt good. It took us a couple of second-half adjustments to shut off their inside game, but we finally did it."

Xavier, which trailed 31-20 in the first half and 42-34 at halftime, took its first lead at 49-47 on Shaun Dumas' basket with 15:05 remaining. Georgetown led only twice thereafter — the final time at 65-63 on Brian Silverhorn's 3-pointer with 7:34 to play — and tied the score twice in the final three minutes.

Mark Stewart, limited to four first-half points, made five 3-pointers in the second half and finished with 19 points for Xavier. Freshman Kelechi Okoroha scored 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting, and Dumas had 17 points, six assists and four steals. Williams scored 14.

"Things opened up for Mark because we had other guys scoring," Jackson said. "K.C. (Okoroha) was penetrating and getting to the basket, Shaun and A.J. (Williams) were making shots. I knew if Mark was patient, he'd make his shots."

Silverhorn scored 19 points for the Tigers, and Craig Schoen and Donnovan Brown scored 13 apiece.

Xavier outshot Georgetown 61 to 46 percent from the floor and committed 14 turnovers, four in the second half, to win for the 15th time in 17 games.

The Rush had not won in the tournament since a 67-60 upset of top-seeded Sam Houston State in the '73 second round. Then Maryland-Eastern Shore defeated the Rush 87-60 in the quarterfinals to start a Xavier streak of eight consecutive tournament losses, seven in the first round from 1981-2005. Xavier did not field a team in 2005-06 because of the effects of Hurricane Katrina but qualified this season for a school-record third straight NAIA tourney.

Xavier denied Georgetown sole possession of the NAIA record for most Division I men's tournament victories. The Tigers share the record, 46, with Central Washington.

"I told the guys to play hard but have fun," Jackson said. "We were very loose and relaxed in the locker room before the game, and I think that helped a lot."

 

 
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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Xavier University of Louisiana
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New Orleans, LA 70125
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504-520-7934 fax

 
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