|Basketball Home Games
|Men's Cross Country
|Women's Cross Country
|Gold Star Dance Team
|Golden Girls Pom Squad
In the Mississippi Valley,
In the Crescent Bend
Stands our loved and noble Xavier,
Far her praises send.
Wave her colors bear them onward
Gold and white so true
Hail to thee, all hail, dear Xavier
Hail, all hail, X.U.!
Xavier, ever be our guide
And lead us on the way,
Through life's journey, onward, upward
To the eternal day. (Refrain)
Rush plays Loyola at The Barn on Wednesday
March 3, 2008
NEW ORLEANS — The Xavier University of Louisiana men's basketball team will try
to end a drought and prolong a streak in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
First, the drought: Xavier hasn't won the tournament since 1996 and hasn't reached
the championship game since then.
Now the streak: The Gold Rush has 18 consecutive victories against Dillard, Loyola
and SUNO, its three city rivals from the GCAC. Third-seeded Xavier (22-8) will play
sixth-seeded Loyola (16-12) in a quarterfinal game at 7 p.m. Wednesday at The Barn.
Admission will be $6 for adults and $3 for students and children 12 and younger.
First Round — Monday, March 3
#7 William Carey 71, #10 Dillard 58
#9 SUNO (5-19) at #8 Belhaven (15-15), ppd., weather
First Round — Tuesday, March 4
#8 Belhaven 86, #9 SUNO 71
Quarterfinals — Wednesday, March 5
#8 Belhaven (16-15) at #1 LSU-Shreveport (27-2), 7 p.m.
#5 Spring Hill (18-11) at #4 Tougaloo (17-12), 7 p.m.
#7 William Carey (17-14) at #2 Mobile (21-8), 7 p.m.
#6 Loyola (16-12) at #3 Xavier (22-8), 7 p.m. at The Barn
Semifinals — Friday, March 7
#8 Belhaven-#1 LSU-Shreveport winner vs. #4 Tougaloo-#5 Spring Hill winner
#7 William Carey-#2 Mobile winner vs. #3 Xavier-#6 Loyola winner
Championship — Monday, March 10
Winning the GCAC Tournament would earn Xavier an automatic bid to the NAIA Division
I National Tournament, which will begin March 19 in Kansas City, Mo. The Rush is
looking for a fourth consecutive bid to the national tourney, which would extend a
The NAIA awards two automatic bids to the national tourney to each conference with 10
or members. LSU-Shreveport earned the first automatic bid this past week by winning
the regular-season championship. If LSUS wins the GCAC tourney, the runner-up would
receive the second automatic bid.
The GCAC Tournament begins Monday with a pair of first-round games: Dillard at
William Carey and SUNO at Belhaven. Xavier earned a first-round bye because of its
top-six finish in the regular season. The Rush secured homecourt
advantage for the quarterfinals by finishing in the top four.
Xavier never has played Loyola in the GCAC tourney and will enter the quarterfinals
with 11 consecutive victories and a 24-2 series advantage against the Wolfpack. But
Loyola hardly was a pushover this season. Xavier led 54-52 at Loyola with 7½ minutes
remaining before using an 18-4 run to win 77-61 on Jan. 31. This past Thursday (Feb. 28)
at The Barn, Loyola led 47-41 with 12 minutes remaining before a 21-4 run rallied the
Rush to a 67-62 victory.
Before the 2004-05 season, no GCAC men's team from New Orleans had ever swept its other
three city opponents. But Xavier did it for the first time in 2004-05, then did it again
in 2006-07 and this season.
Xavier's only two seniors, Mark Stewart and Alfred Williams, are the Rush's leading
scorers. Stewart, a 6-foot-1 guard from Destrehan, La., averages 13.5 points and holds
school career records for 3-point field goals (288) and free-throw percentage (.844).
Williams, a 6-foot-4 forward from Greenville, S.C., averages 11.9 points and a team-best 6.9
rebounds per game. Williams is second on Xavier's career list for 3-point accuracy (.410),
and he's shooting a team-best .461 (47-of-102) this season.
Junior Shaun Dumas, a 5-foot-11 guard from New Orleans, averages 9.5 points and a
team-leading 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals. A third-team NAIA All-American this past
season, Dumas leads the GCAC in steals and ranks 16th in Division I.
Xavier was in the NAIA Division I coaches top 25 all season before a four-game
losing streak knocked the Rush out of the rankings this past week. The Rush regained
its momentum by beating Loyola, then rallying again in the second half Saturday for
a 51-43 victory against Dillard at New Orleans Arena in the Crosstown Classic
presented by Siemens.
Xavier has reached 20 victories in all five of Dannton Jackson's seasons as head coach.
The Rush's 25 seasons of 20 or more victories are the most in the history of Louisiana
collegiate men's basketball.
Highest surviving seeds will host in each round of the tourney. Xavier and
second-seeded Mobile are in the same half of the bracket, and the Rush would travel
to Mobile for Friday's semifinals if both teams win Wednesday. The championship game will be next
Monday (March 10).
LSUS is a two-time defending champion. The Pilots eliminated Xavier in the 2007
semifinals at The Barn, then beat Mobile 82-62 in Shreveport for the title.