Rush topple Panthers again to reach GCAC semifinals

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Xavier University of Louisiana defeated Philander Smith 67-53 Friday to advance to the men’s basketball semifinals of the Gulf Coast Athletic Tournament.

The Gold Rush (18-13), seeded fourth, will play top-seeded Tougaloo (26-4) in the semifinals at 7 p.m. EST Saturday.

XULA’s William Loyd, named second-team All-GCAC Thursday, scored 14 points and reached double figures for the 11th consecutive game. Jeff Dixon scored 13 points and made three 3-pointers, and Damani Flanagain had 10 points and a season-high 12 rebounds.

Rayshawn Mart — XULA’s other second-team All-GCAC player — Dixon and Galen Smith had four assists apiece.

Daldric Sargent scored 14 points and Kevin Shields 12 for the Panthers (11-19), the No. 5 seed.

XULA defeated Philander Smith for the second time in five days. The Gold Rush won 93-76 Monday at home. It was XULA’s fourth consecutive double-digit victory.

Tougaloo, 2-0 against XULA during the regular season, defeated Rust 97-64.

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