6 from XULA collect GCAC end-of-year honors

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NEW ORLEANS — Six student-athletes from Xavier University of Louisiana, including Mikayla Bates of Baton Rouge and Rayshawn Mart of Houma, received end-of-year basketball honors Thursday from the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference.

Bates, a 5-foot-7 junior guard and a U-High graduate, was named to the women’s All-Defensive team. Mart, a 6-3 guard and an H.L. Bourgeois alum, was chosen men’s Freshman of the Year.

The other XULA woman honored was Essence Wells, who was named second-team All-GCAC. The other Gold Rush honorees were Joseph Williams, Jalen David and Virgil Davison. Williams was voted Defensive Player of the Year and made the All-Defensive team. David was first-team all-conference, and Davison made the second team.

Bates ranks seventh in NAIA Division I and second in the conference with 2.9 steals per game. Mart leads GCAC freshmen this season with 11.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Among all players he ranks 15th in the conference in scoring and 10th in rebounding.

Williams leads the conference and ranks seventh nationally with 1.8 blocked shots per game. His 42 blocks are the most by a Gold Rush player since Alex Williams — no relation — had 46 in 1986-87.

David, second-team All-GCAC a year ago, is averaging 12.1 points and five rebounds this season. Davison leads XULA with 13.9 points per game, and his 79 made 3-pointers are No. 4 on the XULA all-time season list.

Both XULA teams will play Friday in the first round of the conference tournament. The Gold Nuggets (14-11), seeded third, will play sixth seed Tougaloo at 2 p.m. at SUNO’s The Castle. The Gold Rush (22-7), seeded second, will play seventh seed Edward Waters at 5 p.m. at Dillard’s Dent Hall.

2017-2018 GCAC Women’s All-Defensive Team
• Terralyn Dominick, Philander Smith
• Carla Clemmons, Tougaloo
• Britanny Rowell, Edward Waters
• Mikayla Bates, Xavier
• Andriel Moss, Southern – NO

2017-2018 GCAC Men’s All-Defensive Team
• Quinton Jackson, Dillard
• Devonte Dixon, Talladega
• Joseph Williams, Xavier
• Tonzell Handy, Tougaloo
• Christopher Journet, Philander Smith

2017-2018 GCAC First Team All-Conference (Women)
• Terralyn Dominick, Philander Smith
• Alyssa Washington, Dillard
• Jermisha Collins, Edward Waters
• Deshanna Cook, Talladega
• Adriiana Jackson, Dillard

2017-2018 GCAC First Team All-Conference (Men)
• Tonzell Handy, Tougaloo
• Jalen David, Xavier University
• Quinton Jackson, Dillard University
• Joshua Simmons, Dillard University
• George Brock, Southern University at New Orleans

2017-2018 GCAC Second Team All-Conference (Women)
• Courtnee Williams, Talladega
• Montoria Atkinson, Tougaloo
• Brittany Thompson, Edward Waters
• Essence Wells, Xavier
• Alexia McDonald, Dillard

2017-2018 GCAC Second Team All-Conference (Men)
• Christopher Journet, Philander Smith
• Virgil Davison, Xavier
• Patrick Thompson, Dillard
• Will Ibeh, Edward Waters
• Khaliel Spearman, Talladega

Post-season awards are voted upon by a panel of coaches from the GCAC’s 7 member institutions.

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