Xavier men beat Belhaven to reach 20 wins again
February 9, 2008
NEW ORLEANS — Alfred Williams had 17 points and 10 rebounds
Saturday to lead NAIA No. 13 Xavier University of Louisiana to an
88-79 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference men's basketball victory over
Belhaven at The Barn.
Xavier (20-4 overall, 10-2 GCAC) reached 20 victories for the 25th time — the
most in the history of Louisiana men's college basketball. Louisiana-Lafayette is second
with 20 20-victory seasons. Xavier has reached 20 victories in all five of Dannton Jackson's
seasons as head coach.
Xavier had five double-figure scorers in stretching its win streak to a season-high
seven games. Dannie Woods scored 16 points, Michael Ruffin a career-high 15, Mark
Stewart 13 and Kelechi Okoroha 12.
Larell Bailey scored 21 points, Korey Whiting 19 and Andre Taylor 18 for Belhaven
(12-12, 4-8), which has a three-game losing streak.
The Gold Rush led the entire second half after six ties and eight lead changes in
the first half. Xavier's biggest deficit was 19-13 through the first nine minutes,
but Ruffin scored the final five points of a 14-3 run which gave the Rush a 46-36
halftime lead. Okoroha's 3-point play with 12:46 remaining gave Xavier its biggest lead, 63-48.
Xavier outshot Belhaven 59 to 54 percent from the floor. The Blazers outrebounded
Xavier 27-25 but committed 20 turnovers, five more than the Rush. Xavier took advantage of
30 Belhaven fouls to made 30-of-44 free throws.
Coupled with William Carey's 66-62 loss at Mobile, Xavier clinched a first-round bye in
the GCAC Tournament next month. The Rush will play a quarterfinal game on Wednesday,
March 5 — opponent and site to be determined. If Xavier is one of the top four
seeds in the tournament, that game would be played at The Barn.
Xavier will play the GCAC leader, NAIA No. 4 LSU-Shreveport, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday
at The Barn. Xavier, which won 75-72 in overtime at LSUS on Jan. 23, trails the Pilots
by one game.