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Gold Rush looks to defend in Miami Gardens Classic
December 28, 2009

     NEW ORLEANS — Playing good defense will not be a new year's resolution of the Xavier University of Louisiana men's basketball team. The Gold Rush has been defending — usually to its benefit — since the season started on Halloween afternoon.
     Xavier is No. 1 in NAIA Division I in field-goal percentage defense and in the top four of two other defensive categories. For the first time since the 1951-52 season, none of Xavier's first 10 opponents reached 70 points.
     Xavier (8-2) will defend its resumé this week and conclude its non-conference schedule in the Miami Gardens Classic at Miami Gardens, Fla. The Gold Rush will play Florida Memorial (2-9) on Tuesday and the host, St. Thomas (3-5), on Wednesday in the first-year Fernandez Family Center. Both games will tip off at 7 p.m. EST (6 p.m. New Orleans time).
     Saint Francis (12-3), from Indiana, is the fourth team in the event and will play St. Thomas on Tuesday and Florida Memorial on Wednesday.
     Tuesday's game will be Xavier's first since a 67-61 overtime loss at Wiley in the Wiley Classic on Dec. 13. Both Xavier losses were in overtime.
     Xavier opponents are shooting .359 from the floor, .253 from 3-point range and scoring 59.2 points per game. The Rush ranks third in NAIA D-I in 3-point field-goal percentage defense and fourth in scoring defense.
     Junior guards Devin Andrew (14.4 points per game) and Michael Harvey (10.1) and sophomore forward Cordell Hadnot (9.0) are the Rush's leading scorers.
     The most notable Xavier victory was 71-60 at home Nov. 18 against Delta State, a preseason NCAA Division II top-25 team. Delta State has averaged 83.8 points in its other 10 games.
     Florida Memorial and St. Thomas are NAIA Division II members, and both have a pair of road victories against NCAA Division II oppponents. St. Thomas senior guard Antonio Jones leads NAIA D-II with 27.4 points per game and averaged 32.5 in the Bobcats' two most recent games. St. Thomas also makes a division-best 79 percent of its free throws.
     It will be Xavier's first meeting with St. Thomas and its second with Florida Memorial. Xavier defeated the Lions 75-73 during the 1975-76 season.
     The Florida games are part of a stretch in which Xavier plays eight of nine times on the road. After this event the Rush will open its Gulf Coast Athletic Conference schedule Jan. 7 at sixth-ranked LSU-Shreveport.

 

 
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
(504) 520-7329 phone
(504) 520-7934 fax

 
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