Dillard Splits Allstate Sugar Bowl Bleu Devil Basketball Classic Games park
Dillard University split the two games of the 2015 Allstate Sugar Bowl Bleu Devil Classic on Saturday, January 31, on the Battlefield in Dent Hall, Dillard’s home gym. The Dillard women’s team defeated Xavier, 53-42, in the first game, while Xavier came out on top in the men’s game, 54-49. This was the seventh year that the Allstate Sugar Bowl sponsored meetings between the two local universities.
In the women’s contest, Alena Evans scored 12 points and added six rebounds to lead the Bleu Devils to victory. The win snapped a 13-game losing streak to the Gold Nuggets. Ciara Morgan added 11 points and six rebounds for Dillard, and Keylantra Taylor had 10 points and three steals. Alesha Smith led Xavier with nine points while Donyeah Mayfield grabbed 10 rebounds.
The men’s game was a tight battle, but Morris Wright’s two free throws in the final seconds iced the victory for Xavier in the longtime rivalry game. Sydney Coleman scored 15 points to lead the Gold Rush, while Wright finished with 14. The Bleu Devils were led by 13 points from Jarrain Jenkins. Kristopher Allmon added 10 points.
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 129th in history between the Gold Rush and the Blue Devils, with Xavier holding a 81-48 advantage. The schools first met in women’s basketball action during the 1977-78 season. The Gold Nuggets and Lady Blue Devils have played 82 times with Xavier on top 62-20 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.