Dillard and Xavier Split Allstate Sugar Bowl Bleu Devil Classic Contests Once Again

Paige Williams. Courtesy of Dillard University.

NEW ORLEANS (February 29, 2020) – Dillard University’s men’s basketball team had a four-game win streak against Xavier University in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Bleu Devil Classic snapped on Saturday evening at Lakefront Arena, but the Bleu Devil women posted their third win in the last four years in the crosstown rivalry doubleheader.

Allstate Sugar Bowl Basketball

In the men’s game, Dillard (17-13) was led by 17 points from Tyrell Alcorn, but it was not enough as No. 15 Xavier (23-6) had a huge game from Rayshawn Mart, who scored 19 points to go with nine rebounds, in the 73-66 decision. It was the final game of the regular season for both teams – they will play in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference tournament which begins on Wednesday.

The Gold Rush had a 33-31 edge at the half, and then slowly pulled away to clinch the victory. William Lloyd added 20 points for Xavier while Dillard also had 12 points from Malik Amos – his 22nd double-figure scoring game this year.

In the women’s match-up, Jabria Pounds scored 20 points and Paige Williams added 16 as Dillard (10-19) snagged a 62-52 victory from Xavier (14-14). Pounds also added 11 rebounds four assists and four steals.

The Lady Bleu Devils used a huge second quarter, outscoring the Gold Nuggets 25-5 to take a 37-19 advantage at the half. Xavier battled back in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as Dillard held on. Xavier was led by 21 points from Shaelynn Moore.

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 142nd (including a February 15 meeting at Xavier) in history between the Gold Rush and the Blue Devils, with Xavier holding an 87-55 advantage. The schools first met in women’s basketball action during the 1977-78 season. The Gold Nuggets and Lady Blue Devils have played 95 times with Xavier on top 71-24 in the all-time series (entering 2019-20).

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.