Stewart's shot caps comeback win against Wiley
For immediate release . . . November 10, 2007
NEW ORLEANS — Mark Stewart's basket with 3.4 seconds remaining Saturday
capped a 12-0 run in the final three minutes and gave Xavier University of Louisiana
a 68-67 men's basketball victory against Wiley at The Barn.
The Gold Rush (3-0), ranked 10th in NAIA Division I, gave the 19th-ranked
Wildcats (3-1) their first loss of the season. Xavier did it the hard way,
rallying from deficits of 17-2 through six minutes, 37-14 at 6:42 of the first
half and 67-56 with 3:02 remaining.
Stewart's basket, which he banked in from the right side, gave Xavier its only
lead of the game.
"That's the thing about our team," said Stewart, who finished with 11 points on
4-of-15 shooting. "We're going to continue to fight no matter how many points
Jarrel Lake had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Rush, and Kelechi Okoroha
had 14 points and seven rebounds. Lake, a transfer from Cal State Fullerton,
has scored at least 20 points in all three games.
Terrell Jacob scored 29 points. Darnell Adams 12 and Lael Johnson 10 for
Wiley. Jacob and Michael Essien grabbed six rebounds apiece.
Wiley shot 64 percent from the floor in the first half and led 45-36 at
the break. For the game the Wildcats outshot the Rush 54 to 35 percent,
but Xavier had the advantage at the line, making 18-of-20 free throws to
Wiley's 6-of-13. In the second half the Wildcats were 0-of-2 from the line,
and Xavier was 11-of-12.
Stewart, Xavier's career leader in 3-point field goals made with 210, was
double-teamed at the 3-point line as he caught a pass during the Rush's final
possession. But he escaped the pressure and found, for a change on this night,
a shot he could make.
"I have the shooter's mentality," Stewart said. "Even if I'm not shooting well,
I'm always thinking I can pick up the team or hit a big shot."
Wiley moved the ball to the front court during the final possession but
did not attempt a shot before the buzzer. In the Wildcats' four previous
possessions, they committed three turnovers and missed a 3-pointer.
"We didn't play particularly well," Xavier Coach Dannton Jackson said,
"but we stayed in the fight and hit some big shots at the end. That's what
championship teams do. We're hoping we're a championship team this season."
The 3-0 start is the sixth in a row for Xavier, which has won 18 of its past 21 games.
Xavier's next game will start at 5 p.m. Friday at The Barn against Huston-Tillotson.
It will be Xavier's homecoming game.