Top seed Tougaloo eliminates Gold Rush in overtime at GCAC Tournament

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Xavier University of Louisiana’s men’s basketball season ended Saturday in the semifinals of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament when top-seeded Tougaloo rallied for an 92-85 overtime victory.

The Gold Rush, seeded fourth, finished 18-14.

GCAC Player of the Year Tonzell Handy scored seven of his 22 points in overtime for the NAIA No. 4 Bulldogs (27-4), who will play sixth-seeded Edward Waters for the championship at 4:15 p.m. EST Sunday.

Tougaloo scored last in regulation on a Dearius Griffin 3-pointer that tied the score at 74 with 33 seconds remaining. XULA then missed two shots, including a 3, during its final.

The Gold Rush missed four free throws in the final 3:34 of regulation.

Senior guard Jeff Dixon concluded his collegiate career with a season-high 26 points for XULA. William Loyd scored 18 points — his 12th consecutive game in double figures — and Rayshawn Mart scored 11.

XULA led 41-33 at halftime.

The Gold Rush were 0-4 in overtime games this season.

Tougaloo reached the GCAC Tournament final for the first time since 2012 and the third time overall.

Edward Waters, the host school, advanced to the GCAC Tournament final for the first time with a 71-54 victory against seventh-seeded SUNO. Dennis Miles had 21 points, including 11-of-12 free throws, and 11 rebounds for the Tigers (12-15), who upset three-time defending champion Dillard 66-55 in the opening round Friday.

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