Mart’s 29 on leap day for Xavier vs. Dillard sets up winner-take-all with Tougaloo

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana’s Rayshawn Mart celebrated leap day with 29 points Saturday in a 73-66 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference men’s basketball victory against Dillard.

The Gold Rush (23-6, 11-2), ranked 15th in NAIA Division I, and 12th-ranked Tougaloo will close the regular season with a 7:30 p.m. Monday game at XULA’s Convocation Center to decide the GCAC championship.

Tougaloo (22-6, 11-2) was idle Saturday and has not played since Monday.

“Tougaloo will come to our place rested and ready,” XULA head coach Alfred Williams said. “But we will be ready, too.”

Mart also produced nine rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block to help XULA beat Dillard (17-13, 7-7) twice in the regular season for the first time since 2014-15. The Gold Rush lead the series, which began in 1948, 87-58.

It was a home game for Dillard, which opted to take the game off its campus and play at the University of New Orleans Lakefront Arena.

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