Washington's free throws give SUNO 55-54 win at XU
February 19, 2011
NEW ORLEANS — Nicholas Washington's two free
throws with seven seconds remaining Saturday lifted SUNO to a 55-54 men's
basketball victory over NAIA No. 13 Xavier University of Louisiana.
The Knights (10-11, 4-2 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference)
won their third straight, snapped the 18-game home win streak of the Gold Rush
(24-4, 3-2) and beat Xavier for the first time in their last 13 attempts.
Recardo Porter scored 15 points, Brent Leduff 13 and
Andre Davis 11 for SUNO. Michael Harvey scored 17 points and Kevin Miller 11
Xavier's biggest lead was 31-17 after Harvey's basket
with 1:32 remaining in the first half. But SUNO scored 11 consecutive points
during the next 3½ minutes — six points by Porter, five by Leduff —
then took its first lead since the fourth minute when Davis scored with 9:38
remaining to make it 44-42. There were three ties and three lead changes
thereafter, and Xavier took its final lead, 54-53, on Devin Andrew's basket
with 29 seconds remaining.
Washington, fouled by Anthony Simmons as he drove
the baseline on SUNO's winning possession, was an unlikely hero. He entered
the game averaging 2.3 points and was 7-of-17 from the line. Washington
finished with four points.
After Washington sandwiched his free throws around a
Xavier timeout, Andrew committed a frontcourt turnover with two seconds remaining.
The loss was the second in three games for Xavier,
which has 13- and nine-game win streaks this season. It was the first Gold Rush
loss at home since Feb. 6, 2010.
Third-year SUNO Coach Dale Valdery earned his first
victory in six tries against Xavier. Valdery, a Xavier graduate and former player,
coached the Gold Rush from 1990-2002 and is the program's winningest coach.
Xavier will close the regular season with 7 p.m. home
games against St. Thomas (Texas) on Tuesday and Dillard on Saturday in the