Allstate Sugar Bowl Sponsors Bleu Devil Basketball Classic
Xavier University upended Dillard University in both the men’s and women’s basketball games at the 2014 Allstate Sugar Bowl Bleu Devil Classic on Saturday evening on the Battlefield in Dent Hall, Dillard’s home gym. The Gold Rush men’s team recorded a 61-54 victory over the Bleu Devils, while the Gold Nuggets women’s team topped Dillard, 63-56. This was the sixth year that the Allstate Sugar Bowl has sponsored meetings between the two local universities.
Xavier’s victory in the men’s game clinched the school’s third-straight Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Championship as the Gold Rush improved to 22-7 overall and 10-2 in league play. Dillard dropped to 4-14 and 0-12. On the women’s side, Xavier improved to 20-9 and 10-2 in league play, while Dillard slipped to 3-15 and 3-9.
The Xavier men were led by Anthony Goode’s 16 points, while Sydney Coleman added 15 and Morris Wright chipped in with 10. Coleman grabbed nine rebounds, and Wright had a career-high eight rebounds. Houston Chatman scored 17 points and Lance Theard 14 for the Bleu Devils (4-14, 0-12), who have lost 13 straight.
Xavier led for 38 minutes, including the final 37:06. After Chatman’s 3-pointer at 17:16 gave Dillard its only lead, 3-2, Coleman scored 10 seconds later to put the Gold Rush ahead to stay. Xavier led 30-19 at halftime and held its biggest lead, 37-22, after Coleman’s two free throws with 17:27 remaining.
The Xavier women broke open a tight game by spurting to a 14-2 run in the first five minutes of the second half to snap a 25-all halftime score. Chelsea Broussard capped the run at 15:24 to give Xavier its largest lead, 39-27. Dillard never got closer than six points thereafter.
Whitney Gathright (12 points), a sophomore guard, scored in double figures for the fourth consecutive game and a team-leading 19th time this season. She made both XU 3-pointers and had six rebounds, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot. Vinnie Briggs added 10 points for Xavier, and Danielle Tucker and Whitney Gaston-Loyd had eight apiece. Keylantra Taylor had 11 points and 12 rebounds for Dillard; and Julia Hendrieth scored 10 points on 5-of-5 from the floor.
The historic rivalry between the two schools began on Jan. 17, 1948 when the men’s basketball teams first clashed on the hardwood. Saturday’s meeting was the 128th in history between the Gold Rush and the Blue Devils, with Xavier now holding a 80-48 advantage. The schools first met in women’s basketball action during the 1977-78 season. The Gold Nuggets and Lady Blue Devils have played 80 times with Xavier on top 61-19 in the all-time series.
Three players in the XU-DU men’s series reached the NBA. Xavier’s Donald “Slick” Watts played six seasons with three NBA teams from 1973-79. Watts was the first to lead the NBA in assists and steals in the same season (1975-76). Gold Rush teammate Bruce Seals played three NBA seasons (1975-78) after two seasons in the ABA. Dillard’s George Johnson played 13 seasons with six NBA teams from 1972-86 and ranks 13th in the NBA with 2,082 career blocked shots. Johnson was a member of the Golden State Warriors’ 1975 NBA championship team, and Seals played in the NBA Finals in 1978 with the Seattle SuperSonics.