Kristian Clark attempts a floater in the lane against SUNO in the GCAC tourney.
Kristian Clark attempts a floater in the lane against SUNO in the GCAC tourney.
Men's Basketball - Sat, Mar. 5, 2016
Southern University at New Orleans
Southern-New Orleans (La.263258
Dillard University305181
Mar. 4, 2016
New Orleans, LA
Southern-New Orleans (La.Indv. LeadersDillard University
#43 Joe Brown - 14Points #23 Demetric Austin - 27
#43 Joe Brown - 10Rebounds #21 Dennis Reed - 14
#12 Ezekiel Brown - 4Assists #32 Dennis Hightower - 6
Southern-New Orleans (La.Team StatisticsDillard University
28.6% (14 - 49) Field Goals % 48.1% (25 - 52)
35.3% (6 - 17) 3 Point Field Goals % 38.9% (7 - 18)
61.5% (24 - 39) Free Throws 63.2% (24 - 38)
27Rebounds 45
9Assists 13
7Turnovers 14
82nd Chance Pts 20

New Orleans — In the first round of the 2016 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Men's Basketball tournament, the NAIA's 25th ranked Dillard Bleu Devils cruised by the Southern University of New Orleans Knights by the score of 81-58 at the Battlefield in Dent Hall. The contest was in front of a hostile crowd and proved to be "chippy" throughout the game, including an ejection and a pair of technical fouls.

"Our whole deal through my years in all the tournaments I've been a part of is that you don't have to the best, you just have to be the best on that particular night," said Bleu Devils head coach Mike Newell. "I have a lot of respect for Coach Dale Valdery. He had his team prepared. We hung in there, went back and forth with SUNO, but in the second half we came to play," Newell stated. "Jessie Ward (SO/Maringouin, La.) and Demetric Austin (JR/Washington, D.C.) were big for us." The Knights opened the game on a 9-0 run but couldn't manage to hold on to the lead as the home crowd helped Dillard weather the storm.

The Bleu Devils advance to the semi-final round of the GCAC tourney in a rematch of the 2013 conference championship game  as they face Philander Smith College out of Little Rock, Arkansas. The series is dubbed "The Battle of the HipHopPrez" (Old School vs. New School) since Dillard's president (Dr. Walter Kimbrough, a.k.a. the 'HipHopPrez') spent seven years as Philander's president before coming to Dillard.

Yesterday, the Panthers defeated Edward Waters by the score of 86-66 in the opening round of this year's tournament on Dillard's campus.

In Dillard's victory, The Bleu Devils were led by First Team All-GCAC pick Austin as he finished with 27 points and seven boards while Ward was a true emotional spark scoring 15 points and grabbing six rebounds to go along with three assists and three huge blocks. Junior Dennis Reed (JR/England, Ark.) had a solid output and finished with a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing a game-high 14 rebounds in the victory, which is Dillard's 19th win of the season.

"We are working on building a brand here at Dillard," said Coach Newell. "Education plus basketball is important. We are not a flash in the pan. We are here to be known as a nationally known program, and everybody has to buy in from within. That includes administration, faculty, staff and students."

SUNO was led by senior Joe Brown who finished with a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 boards in the loss.

The semi-final game between the Panthers and the Bleu Devils is on Saturday, March 5 at 7:00 p.m. at the Convocation Center on the campus of Xavier University. The winner will advance to the championship game and face the winner of #1 Talladega/#4 Xavier on Sunday, March 5 at 4:15 p.m. at the Convocation Center.

For more information on the 2016 GCAC Tournament, click here.

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