Ruffin rescues Rush in overtime against Rams
For immediate release . . . November 16, 2007
NEW ORLEANS — Michael Ruffin's five free throws in overtime keyed a
7-0 run in the final 1:45 Friday and rallied Xavier University of Louisiana to a
69-64 men's basketball victory over Huston-Tillotson at The Barn.
The Gold Rush (4-0), ranked 10th in the NAIA Division I coaches poll and
fifth by Victory Sports Network, won for the 19th time in 22 games. But
for the second straight game Xavier rallied from a double-digit deficit in the second half.
Olumide Olafioye scored 20 points and Alfred Williams scored 18, both season highs, for Xavier.
K.C. Asomugha led Huston-Tillotson (0-2) with 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Robert Hollins scored 12.
The Rams, swept by Xavier in a two-game series last season, outscored the Rush 21-12 during
the first 13 minutes and led 34-31 at halftime. Asomugha's 3-pointer gave Huston-Tillotson
its biggest lead, 49-35 at 15:48 of the second half, before Xavier rallied.
Williams went 4-for-4 from the line in the final minute of regulation to force overtime,
including two free throws with 5.7 seconds remaining to tie the score at 62.
Justin Ballou's basket at 1:51 of overtime gave the Rams a 64-62 lead, but those
were their only points of the final 6:10. Ruffin tied the score with two free throws
at 1:44, then put the Rush ahead to stay a half-minute later with two more free throws.
Xavier outshot the Rams 46 to 36 percent from the floor, but the rebounds were even
at 37, and both teams committed 17 turnovers. Huston-Tillotson stayed in the game by
hitting nine 3-pointers, five more than Xavier.
Xavier will complete a season-opening five-game home stand with a 7 p.m. Monday
matchup against Albany State, an NCAA Division II opponent.