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Xavier Sweeps Dillard in Allstate Sugar Bowl Crosstown Classic

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Xavier University won both the men's and the women's games to sweep the Allstate Sugar Bowl Crosstown Classic, a collegiate basketball doubleheader on Saturday evening at the New Orleans Arena. The event was attended by 4,321 fans. It was the sixth Xavier-Dillard doubleheader in the New Orleans Arena, and the first sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

The men's contest saw Kelechi Okoroha record a season-high 19 points to go with 12 rebounds as the Gold Rush posted a 60-55 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference victory. In the women's game, Shayla Boyd scored 12 of her career-high 16 points in the first half to lead Xavier to a 59-47 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference victory.

Okoroha's 3-point play with 4:42 remaining put Xavier (12-6 overall, 4-2 GCAC) ahead to stay at 51-48. But the outcome remained in doubt until Devin Andrew rebounded Cornice Wingate's missed 3-pointer with 14 seconds remaining and the Gold Rush leading 58-55. Andrew was fouled after the rebound and made 1-of-2 free throws, then Okoroha added one more free throw with two seconds remaining.

Michael Harvey scored 11 of his career-high 15 points for Xavier in the first half, and Andrew scored 10.

Wingate made five 3-pointers and scored 22 points for Dillard (6-10, 3-3), and Autrail Manning scored 10. The Blue Devils' leading scorer for the season, David Manning, had seven points, all from the line, before fouling out with 5:58 remaining.

In the women's game, Shayla Boyd scored 12 of her career-high 16 points in the first half to lead Xavier to a 59-47 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference victory. Brittany Powell added 15 points for the Gold Nuggets (13-5 overall, 4-2 GCAC), and Johnna Williams had nine points and a season-high 13 rebounds.

Syrena Edwards led Dillard (5-13, 1-5) with nine points. Edwards grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds, and Chayla Green had a career-high 14 rebounds.

Boyd was 5-of-6 from the floor, including three 3-pointers, to help the Nuggets build a 35-22 lead by halftime.

Xavier committed 31 turnovers -- the fourth time this season the Nuggets reached 30 -- but limited Dillard to 23.9 percent shooting from the floor, the lowest by a Xavier opponent in 70 games.

The historic rivalry between the two schools began on Jan. 17, 1948 when the men's basketball teams clashed on the hardwood. This year's meeting was the 116th in history between the Gold Rush and the Blue Devils. Xavier and Dillard first met in women's basketball action during the 1977-78 season. The Gold Nuggets and Lady Blue Devils have now played 68 times.

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. And 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.


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