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Less than one week after getting dismantled by the Gold Rush in the final game of the regular season, the #8 seed Dillard University pulled off the upset of a lifetime with a 59-56 victory over the #1 seed Xavier University in the first round of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference tournament at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock. Thanks to Dillard's stellar defense, Xavier shot just 30 percent from the field for the game.
The Gold Rush had no answer for Dillard's Jarrain Jenkins who was recently named GCAC Freshman of the Year. Jenkins scored a game-high 23 points, nailing 10-of-18 shots from the field. He also pulled down nine rebounds, produced two assists and two steals in just over 37 minutes. Jenkins picked up his fourth foul with 14:54 left in the ball game, and at the time Dillard held a six point lead. He was then forced to sit out for quite some time, and that is when the Gold Rush went on a huge run and took a 43-40 lead with 8:34 left in the game.
Several minutes later, Jenkins entered the game and scored eight points down the stretch to close out the game for the Bleu Devils.
Wanto Joseph had a strong game for Xavier with 20 points, seven boards, five assists and four steals on the night, but the Gold Rush had only one other player to score in double figures.
Dillard (4-20 overall) had a 33-26 lead at the half and only allowed Xavier to hit just seven first half shots. Sophomore Jordan Kilson filled up the stat sheet for the Bleu Devils with 14 points, six boards, five assists and four steals, and freshman Tyrone Williams had a stellar game as he finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists and one block in 40 minutes of action for Dillard.
The Bleu Devils advance to the semi-finals of the GCAC tournament and face the #5 seed Southern University at New Orleans on Friday, March 1, at 2:30 p.m. at Barton Coliseum. The winner advances to the championship game.
Dillard is 0-2 this season against SUNO.