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Xavier Takes Two in Allstate Sugar Bowl Bleu Devil Basketball Classic

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Xavier University swept Dillard University in both the men's and women's basketball games at the 2013 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 54-34 victory over the Bleu Devils, while the Gold Nuggets women's team upended Dillard, 64-54.

The win for the men's team improved Xavier to 18-4 overall and 6-1 in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference, while Dillard drops to 2-15 and 1-6. On the women's side, Xavier improves to 15-4 and 5-2 in league play, while Dillard is now 5-15 and 3-4.

In the men's game, 11th-ranked Xavier, which forced 18 turnovers, was led by Anthony Simmons, who scored 15 points with eight rebounds. Denzell Erves chipped in with 13 points and nine boards while point guard Wanto Joseph added 12 points, five rebounds and a career-high six steals. Tyrone Williams led Dillard with nine points.

SiMon Franklin scored 15 points to lead the 14th-ranked Xavier women to their victory. It was the eighth consecutive win for the Gold Nuggets over their city rival. Reserve guard Schyler Morton added a career-high eight points. Jazzmin Smith scored 17 points and Brittany Smith added 11 for Dillard.

This is the fifth year that the Allstate Sugar Bowl has sponsored meetings between the two local universities.

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 124th in history between the Gold Rush and the Blue Devils, with Xavier now holding a 77-47 advantage. The schools first met in women's basketball action during the 1977-78 season. The Gold Nuggets and Lady Blue Devils have played 77 times with Xavier on top 58-19 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.