Senior Lance Theard had three ferocious dunks in the 2014 Bleu Devil Classic.
Senior Lance Theard had three ferocious dunks in the 2014 Bleu Devil Classic.
Men's Basketball - Mon, Mar. 3, 2014

(New Orleans)  Gold Rush guard Xavier Wright's three-pointer with 1:21 left Saturday afternoon ended Dillard's chance to steal a regular-season win at Dent Hall against its in-town rivals, and gave Xavier a 61-54 victory in the 2014 Bleu Devil Classic.

The win sealed the school's third consecutive regular-season championship. Even more important, Xavier earned a No. 1 seed in the GCAC tournament.

Next Friday, the Gold Rush, ranked 13th in the latest NAIA Division I Coaches' Top 25, will play the winner of Thursday's first-round game between Fisk and Dillard in the GCAC quarterfinals.

Xavier is co-hosting the tournament with Dillard.

The Bleu Devils (4-14, 0-12 GCAC) recovered from a 13-point deficit early in the second half to rally within four with 3:04 left.  Senior Lance Theard, fouled on a three-point attempt, converted two of three free throws, trimming the deficit to 52-48.

Xavier's Anthony Goode followed with a score in the post, and added two free throws. Houston Chatman countered with a jump shot for Dillard.

That's when Coleman, double teamed in the post, found Wright open on the left side of the perimeter.

For Dillard, Chatman scored a team-high 17 points. Theard added 14 points.

"We're not a one-man team; individually, we're not that good," said Dillard coach Bernard Griffin, whose team lost its 13th consecutive game. "As a team, we can be pretty good and effective, if we stick to (the game plan)."

Xavier won its last four games of the regular season en route to a regular-season sweep of its in-town rivals.

Last season, Xavier, the top seed in the conference tournament, was ousted 59-56 by Dillard, the No. 8 seed, in the quarterfinals.

Ninth seed Dillard will host eighth seed Fisk University and 2014 GCAC Player of the Year Cameron Lewis on Thursday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m. at the Battlefield in Dent Hall Gymnasium in the play-in game of the 2014 GCAC Basketball Championships.


Gary Estwick
Special to the Advocate


*Photo provided by A. Williams

Record: 0-0 Home: 0-0 Away: 0-0 GCAC: 0-0