Gold Rush close The Barn with 67-61 comeback victory
February 13, 2012
NEW ORLEANS — Jamaan Kenner's 3-pointer with 42.6
seconds remaining Monday sparked a late burst which rallied Xavier University
of Louisiana to a 67-61 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference men's basketball victory
It was the final game at The Barn, a 1,300-seat
gymnasium which opened in 1937, for the Gold Rush (19-7 overall, 8-3 GCAC).
Xavier will play next season in a 4,500-seat facility which still is under
Xavier, ranked 25th in NAIA Division I, snapped the
11-game win streak of the 18th-ranked Bulldogs (19-6, 10-2) and prevented them
from clinching the GCAC regular-season championship. Tougaloo leads the
conference by 1½ games with two games remaining. Xavier is in second place.
Kenner's 3-pointer, his third of the game, put Xavier
ahead to stay at 60-58. Tougaloo then missed two shots and committed a
turnover before Kevin Miller scored to give Xavier a 62-58 lead with 19
seconds remaining. After a Tougaloo personal foul and technical foul, Chris
Iles and Wanto Joseph each made 2-of-2 free throws for a 66-58 Xavier lead
with 10 seconds remaining.
Anthony Simmons scored 13 points for the Gold Rush,
and Iles had 11, including three 3-pointers. Kenner and Denzell Erves scored
nine points apiece, and Erves grabbed 10 rebounds.
Marquise Mems scored 21 points, Juan Gray 12 and Kadon
Day 10 for Tougaloo, which had won eight of its past 10 meetings with Xavier.
James Carter grabbed 10 rebounds.
Mems scored 13 points to lead the Bulldogs to a 37-24
halftime advantage, and they stretched the margin to 40-24 when Mems hit a
3-pointer with 18:28 remaining. But Simmons scored nine points during a 22-3
run which gave Xavier its first lead 14 minutes, and he capped the burst with
two free throws for a 46-43 XU advantage at 9:44.
Xavier shot 52 percent from the floor and made 14-of-16
free throws in the second half. For the game the Rush outshot the Bulldogs 44.4
to 30.9 percent from the floor. At the line Xavier made 21-of-24, and Tougaloo
made 9-of-14. Three Bulldogs — including Mems, the GCAC's Player of the
Year and Newcomer of the Year this past season — fouled out.
It was the final home game for Iles, Kenner, Cordell
Hadnot and Jeremy Lee, who were honored in a pregame senior-night ceremony.
Xavier will close the regular season with three conference road games, then
travel to Jacksonville, Fla., for the GCAC Tournament on March 1-3. The
tournament will receive the GCAC's automatic bid to the Buffalo Funds-NAIA
Division I National Championship.
The XU men won their final eight games at The Barn
and 33 of their final 36.