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Gold Rush reach 25 victories for first time since 1983-84
February 22, 2011

Box score

     NEW ORLEANS — This time the game, and the 25th victory, did not slip away.
     Led by Kevin Miller's 10 points and Anthony Simmons' 10 rebounds, Xavier University of Louisiana led from start to finish Tuesday in a 56-51 men's basketball victory against St. Thomas (Texas).
     The Gold Rush (25-4), ranked 17th in NAIA Division I, bounced back from a 55-54 closing-seconds loss Saturday to SUNO. The Celts (13-12) scored 10 points in the final 2:39, but it wasn't enough to catch Xavier, which never lost the lead after the opening possession and built 17-point leads in both halves.
     "I thought our focus was better tonight," eighth-year XU Coach Dannton Jackson said. "We wanted to start strongly and not create the problems we had Saturday against SUNO. For the most part we did that. We got some good looks at the basket and did a good job on the boards."
     Xavier reached 25 victories for the first time since 1983-84 (27-5) and the fifth time in the program's illustrious history. XU's men were 29-2 in 1981-82, 29-0 in 1940-41 and 35-4 in 1937-38. Despite 11 20-victory seasons over the last 18 years, XU teams were 0-8 during that time after reaching 24 victories.
     "It's good to get over that hump," said Jackson, who coached 24-game winners in 2004-05 and 2007-08. "But we don't want to stop at 25 wins. We have more games to play and a lot more to accomplish."
     Xavier will close the regular season at 7 p.m. Saturday against longtime rival Dillard in the Crosstown Classic at The Barn, then travel to Jacksonville, Fla., for next week's Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament. Seedings and pairings will be announced after Saturday. Xavier hopes to return in mid-March to the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I National Championship at Kansas City, Mo., after a two-year absence.
     Miller had eight points and five rebounds, and Devin Andrew scored all nine of his points to lead Xavier to a 36-25 advantage by halftime. Michael Harvey's 3-point play with 10:04 remaining gave Xavier a 51-34 lead.
     Travis Lampley and Anthony Medina scored 10 points apiece for St. Thomas, an NAIA Division I independent. Jeremy Lewis, who entered with a St. Thomas-leading 13.1 scoring average, finished with three points and was 1-of-7 from the floor.
     Xavier outshot the Celts 45.7 to 36 percent from the floor and outrebounded them 40-22. Xavier had a 23-8 rebound advantage in the first half.
     Xavier swept the two-game season series from St. Thomas, whose signature victory was a 72-64 home decision over Texas Wesleyan, ranked fourth this week in the NAIA.
     "We were fortunate to win at St. Thomas in November," Jackson said of that 63-60 decision, "and we did enough tonight to get out of here with another win."
     The Gold Rush are 37-1 in non-conference home games during the last four seasons and have won the last 18 in a row.


 

 
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 teams in basketball, cross country and tennis and women's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis and volleyball.

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Xavier University of Louisiana
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New Orleans, LA 70125
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