Xavier, with five in double figures, wins at Philander Smith
January 7, 2012
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Junior forward Anthony Simmons
produced his first double-double of the season, 16 points and 13 rebounds,
to lead NAIA No. 21 Xavier University of Louisiana to a 76-70 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
men's basketball victory against Philander Smith on Saturday.
The Gold Rush (10-4 overall, 1-0 GCAC) had five scorers
in double figures. Chris Iles had 15 points, Wanto Joseph 14, Nick Haywood 11
and Jeremy Lee 10.
Xavier took the lead for good in the third minute,
led 32-22 at halftime and held its biggest lead, 59-41, after Haywood's 3-point
play with 8:41 remaining.
NAIA scoring leader Ken Brown had 33 points, 21 in the
second half, for Philander Smith (5-9, 1-1), which is in its first GCAC season
but already has victories against defending GCAC Tournament champion Tougaloo
and NCAA Division I Central Arkansas.
"Our team was resilient," Xavier coach Dannton Jackson
said. "We did a good job not giving their 3-point shooters a lot of room,
and a lot of our guys had good games."
The Panthers made a season-low three 3-pointers in
25 attempts — Brown was 2-of-10 and Brandon Bell was 1-of-9 —
and shot 29.7 percent from the floor. Xavier shot 51.9 percent and made more
than half of its shots for the second straight game after never reaching
50 percent in its first 12 contests.
Simmons recorded his fourth double-double in two
seasons at Xavier but his first on the road. He matched his career high for
rebounds and blocked a career-best four shots.
Simmons had 10 points and 11 rebounds in the first half.
It was 17-4 in the eighth minute after Iles made his first two 3-point attempts and Simmons scored
"We jumped on (Philander Smith) early," Jackson said.
"But we did not do a good job managing the clock late in the game."
Philander Smith, helped in the second half by 19 XU turnovers and
23-of-26 free throws, cut Xavier's lead to five points three
times in the final 75 seconds. But two Joseph free throws in the final 20 seconds
and another by Haywood sealed Xavier's third consecutive victory and fifth
on the road this season.
Xavier finished with 29 turnovers, its most in a game
since the start of the 20023-04 season. But the Gold Rush offset that with a 47-31
rebound advantage, its best since opening night. Iles, Xavier's starting point
guard, grabbed seven rebounds and has 15 in the past two games.
Lee was 4-of-6 from the floor and 2-of-2 from the line
in his first appearance of the season. He grabbed seven rebounds in 17 minutes
as a reserve.
Damarkus Lipscomb had 13 points and seven steals for
Philander Smith, and Bell scored 12 points.
It was the last of six straight road games for Xavier,
which will play GCAC and city rival SUNO at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at The Barn.
will webcast the game live.