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Xavier men meet ranked Delta State at The Barn
November 17, 2009

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     NEW ORLEANS — It's been a little more than two years since the Xavier University of Louisiana men's basketball team played a ranked non-conference opponent at home, but that drought will end Wednesday.
     NCAA member Delta State — No. 21 in Division II Bulletin's preseason ranking and No. 23 in the NABC Division II preseason coaches poll — will visit NAIA member Xavier in a 6 p.m. game at The Barn.
     The game will be the regular-season opener for Delta State, which returns four starters from its 21-9 team which reached the NCAA South Regional this past season. The Statesmen's leading returning scorers are senior guards Joe McCray (12.5 points per game), Eric Spencer (12.1) and Earnesto Green (11.9).
     "I can't think of a better team on our schedule than Delta State," seventh-year Xavier Coach Dannton Jackson said. "They have a lot of experience. They have five (NCAA) Division I transfers. Our team will need to be prepared and focused for all 40 minutes."
     Or, based on early results, longer than 40. Xavier has played twice in overtime — a 77-75 exhibition loss at Southern on Nov. 5 and a 67-65 home loss to Texas College on Saturday — and will bring a 3-1 regular-season record to Wednesday's game.
     Devin Andrew, a 6-4 junior guard, leads the Gold Rush with 13.8 points per game and is eighth in NAIA Division I with a .952 free-throw percentage. Andrew is 20-of-21 from the line this season and has made 17 straight since missing his fourth attempt in the opener.
     Michael Harvey, a 6-3 junior guard, is Xavier's other double-figure scorer at 10.8. The Rush is seventh in NAIA D-I in scoring defense with 57.5 points allowed per game.
     "We've had some good moments, but with six freshmen on our roster, we obviously still have a lot of room for improvement," Jackson said.
     Four Xavier freshmen are averaging double-figure minutes, and the leading scorer among the newcomers is 6-4 guard Kevin Miller, who averages 5.3 points and had season highs of eight points and five rebounds against Texas College.
     This will be the sixth meeting between the Gold Rush and Statesmen and the first since the 1986-87 season. Delta State leads the series 4-1, and Xavier's only victory was 82-76 in 1985-86. The Statesmen averaged 103.3 points in their four victories against XU.
     The last time Xavier played a ranked non-conference opponent at The Barn, the Rush needed a 12-0 run in the final three minutes — including Mark Stewart's basket with 3.4 seconds remaining — to defeat Wiley 68-67 on Nov. 10, 2007. Both teams were ranked in NAIA D-I that night.
     Xavier's first eight regular-season games will be at The Barn. The home stand will continue at 2 p.m. Saturday against Wiley in a homecoming doubleheader and at 7 p.m. Monday against Concordia (Ala.) in another doubleheader.

 

 
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Xavier fields men's and women's teams in basketball, cross country and tennis.

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Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive
Campus Box 92
New Orleans, LA 70125
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(504) 520-7934 fax

 
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