Dillard tops Gold Rush to swap spots in GCAC again

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NEW ORLEANS — Jorori Coleman scored 25 points Saturday to lead Dillard to a 79-65 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference men’s basketball victory against NAIA No. 22 Xavier University of Louisiana in the Crosstown Classic presented by Raising Cane’s at XULA’s Convocation Center.

The Bleu Devils (17-9, 8-3) won for the eighth time in nine games and replaced the Gold Rush (19-7, 6-3) as the GCAC’s second-place team. On Monday XULA and DU swapped positions when the Gold Rush won at SUNO and the Bleu Devils lost at Tougaloo.

Both XULA and DU are chasing Talladega, 8-2 in conference after an 80-73 home victory against Edward Waters. Talladega finishes its GCAC schedule at fourth-place Philander Smith next Saturday and at XULA Feb. 28, two days before the GCAC Tournament.

Philander Smith, 5-4 after a 71-70 loss at SUNO, will visit XULA at 7:30 p.m. Monday. XULA’s final three games of the regular season are all in conference and all at home.

Dillard used only seven players, and all five starters scored in double figures. Joshua Simmons had 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists, Kristopher Allmon scored 14, and Patrick Thompson and Quinton Jackson scored 11 points apiece.

Jalen David scored 17 points, 14 in the second half, for XULA. Virgil Davison scored 12, and Jeff Dixon had 12 points, 10 assists and six rebounds.

Davison made four 3-pointers to join Mark Stewart (2006-07 and 2007-08), Morris Wright (2014-15 and 2015-16) and Percy Bland (1989-90) as the only XULA men to make 70 treys in a season. Davison has 71; Stewart made a school-record 109 in 2006-07.

Coleman, a 6-foot-4 junior, dominated the scoring for the third time in as many Convocation Center appearances this season. During the Xavier Classic in December, he scored 41 against Rust and 32 against Virgin Islands.

Dillard never trailed and led for 39-of-40 minutes. After a tie at 18, Jackson’s basket at 10:24 of the first half put the Bleu Devils ahead to stay. It was 32-27 at halftime and 68-52 after a Simmons basket with 4:29 remaining.

Dillard outshot XULA 51 to 43.1 percent from the floor and had a 36-28 rebound advantage. Dillard made 20-of-28 free throws to XULA’s 7-of-13.

Dillard defeated the Gold Rush for the sixth straight time to cap a Crosstown Classic where neither top-25 team won. In the opener, XULA’s women rallied in the fourth quarter for a 75-63 victory against 17th-ranked Dillard.

Attendance was 2,117 for the men’s game and 1,375 for the women’s, both season bests on the Rush and Nuggets home schedules.

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