Xavier men beat Loyola, reach GCAC semifinals
March 5, 2008
NEW ORLEANS — Sophomore reserve Olumide Olafioye scored 14 of his 19
points in the second half Wednesday, including a tiebreaking 3-pointer with
3:53 remaining, to lift Xavier University of Louisiana to a 66-61 men's
basketball victory over city rival Loyola in the quarterfinals of the Gulf
Coast Athletic Conference Tournament at The Barn.
The victory advanced the third-seeded Gold Rush (23-8) to a 7 p.m. Friday
semifinal at NAIA No. 16 Mobile (22-8). The Rams, the No. 2 seed,
eliminated seventh-seeded William Carey 81-72 Wednesday.
Olafioye, who made a career-best four 3-pointers, hit his final trey to
break a tie at 55 and put Xavier ahead to stay. The Rush protected the
lead by scoring on four of its final five possessions, including Olafioye's
two free throws with eight seconds remaining for the final points.
Shaun Dumas had 16 points, eight assists and three steals for Xavier,
and Alfred Williams grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds.
Luke Zumo scored 19 points, Torry Beaulieu 13 and Sean Bennett 12 for
Loyola (16-13), which finished with its first winning record in 13 seasons
and its most victories since resuming intercollegiate athletics in the
The Wolfpack twice led by five in the first half, the latest at 25-20 with
4:54 remaining, but 3-pointers by Olafioye and Mark Stewart helped Xavier
rally for a 30-28 advantage at the break.
Xavier, which shot 50 percent from the floor in two regular-season victories
against Loyola, was outshot 43 to 38 percent from the floor.
The Rush extended its winning streak against the Wolfpack to 12 games and its
series lead to 25-2. This was the first time these teams met in the postseason.
Fifth-seeded Spring Hill will travel to fourth-ranked and top-seeded LSU-Shreveport
for the other semifinal Friday. Spring Hill upset fourth-seeded Tougaloo 76-61,
and LSUS beat eighth-seeded Belhaven 86-82.