Dillard Splits Allstate Sugar Bowl Bleu Devil Classic With Xavier
NEW ORLEANS (February 16, 2019) – Dillard University defeated Xavier, 81-70, for its fourth straight victory on the men’s basketball side of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Bleu Devil Classic on Saturday at the Battlefield in Dent Hall. The Dillard women had their own two-game winning streak snapped by Xavier as the Bleu Devils fell 60-55.
In the men’s game, Dillard trailed by six early in the second half, but five straight points from Rick Curry (game-high 23 points and 12 rebounds) and a Jamerson Roberts three-pointer sparked an 11-2 Bleu Devil run to put them on top, 55-46. The Gold Rush would cut the margin to five with 1:36 to go, but key free throw shooting from Tyrell Alcorn and Jeffrey Todd iced the victory. Xavier was led by 19 points from Rayshawn Mart.
Alyssa Washington tired to propel the Dillard women to a comeback victory in the early game. Her 15-point effort was capped by a three-pointer that brought the Bleu Devils within one at 56-55 with 24 seconds to go. However, the Gold Nuggets sealed the 60-55 victory from the line. Essence Wells scored 18 points and Jas Hill added 16 for Xavier. Jaiylan Brown added 10 points off the bench for Dillard.
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 143rd in history between the Gold Rush and the Blue Devils, with Xavier holding an 85-58 advantage. The schools first met in women’s basketball action during the 1977-78 season. The Gold Nuggets and Lady Blue Devils have played 93 times with Xavier on top 70-23 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 player 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.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 93 Hall of Fame players, 50 Hall of Fame coaches and 18 Heisman Trophy winners in its 85-year history. The 86th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, featuring top teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, will be played on January 1, 2020. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1.6 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, scholarships and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors nearly 100,000 student-athletes each year and has injected over $2.5 billion into the local economy over the last decade.