Two national runners-up on 2018-19 Gold Rush schedule

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NEW ORLEANS — For the third consecutive season, Xavier University of Louisiana men’s basketball will play a slew of games against teams that qualified for national postseason tournaments the previous year. Four of those games will be against national runners-up.

Third-year head coach Alfred Williams announced the 2018-19 schedule Wednesday, which will tip off the final weekend of October with a pair of games on the Virgin Islands.

The 2018 national postseason teams on the schedule will be:

• Keiser — Oct. 26 on the Virgin Islands and the first regular-season game.
• William Carey — Nov. 5 home, Nov. 19 road.
• LSU-Alexandria — Nov. 12 road, Nov. 26 home. LSUA was the NAIA Division I national runner-up last season.
• Clark Atlanta — Nov. 17 for homecoming. The NCAA Division II team will be coached this season by former New Orleans Hornet and University of North Carolina standout George Lynch.
• Campbellsville — Dec. 29 at the Cumberlands Classic in Williamsburg, Ky.
• Cumberlands — Dec. 30 at the Cumberlands Classic.
• Oakwood — Jan. 17 home, Jan. 31 road. Oakwood was the USCAA national runner-up last season.
• Dillard — Jan. 26 home, Feb. 16 road.

XULA returnees include last season’s Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year, Rayshawn Mart, and senior Jeff Dixon, the NAIA Division I leader in assists prior to the national tournament. XULA finished 24-9 in 2017-18 and shared the GCAC regular-season championship with Dillard. The Gold Rush qualified for nationals for the 11th time in the past 14 seasons.

“We will be improved this season in several key areas,” Williams said. “Scoring ability, leadership, toughness and team chemistry. We are looking forward to building off of last year’s season and taking more steps forward.”

Campbellsville, Cumberlands and Oakwood will be first-time opponents. So will Thomas, a Georgia school that will visit XULA Dec. 18. Campbellsville and Dillard reached the round of 16 at NAIA nationals last season.

Half of the 30 regular-season games will be at home. The first game at the Convocation Center will be Nov. 1 against a familiar recent early-season opponent, Carver College of Atlanta.

Rust College of Holly Springs, Miss., joined the GCAC in July, giving the GCAC eight teams for the first time since 2014-15.

The GCAC Tournament will be March 1-3 in Jacksonville, Fla., followed by the NAIA Division I National Championship March 20-26 at Kansas City, Mo.

Xavier University of Louisiana-Lafayette
2018-19 Men’s Basketball Schedule

Oct. 26 (Fri.):  Keiser (at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands), 7 p.m. AST
Oct. 28 (Sun.):  at Virgin Islands, 2 p.m. AST
Nov. 1 (Thu.):  CARVER, 7 p.m.
Nov. 5 (Mon.):  WILLIAM CAREY, 7 p.m.
Nov. 10 (Sat.):  at Loyola (N.O.), 5 p.m.
Nov. 12 (Mon.):  at LSU-Alexandria (DH), 7 p.m.
Nov. 17 (Sat.):  CLARK ATLANTA, 1 p.m. (Homecoming)
Nov. 19 (Mon.):  at William Carey (DH), 7 p.m.
Nov. 26 (Mon.):  LSU-ALEXANDRIA, 7 p.m.
Nov. 29 (Thu.):  JARVIS CHRISTIAN, 6 p.m.
Dec. 18 (Tue.):  THOMAS, 3 p.m.
Dec. 19 (Wed.):  VIRGIN ISLANDS, 3 p.m.
Dec. 29 (Sat.):  Campbellsville (Cumberlands Classic, Williamsburg, Ky.), 6 p.m. EST
Dec. 30 (Sun.):  at Cumberlands (Cumberlands Classic), 4 p.m. EST
Jan. 7 (Mon.):  •  TOUGALOO (DH), 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 12 (Sat.):  •  at Rust (DH), 5 p.m.
Jan. 14 (Mon.):  •  at Philander Smith (DH), 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 17 (Thu.):  OAKWOOD, 7 p.m.
Jan. 19 (Sat.):  •  EDWARD WATERS (DH), 5 p.m.
Jan. 21 (Mon.):  •  at Tougaloo (DH), 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 26 (Sat.):  •  DILLARD (DH), 5 p.m. (Crosstown Classic)
Jan. 28 (Mon.):  •  at SUNO (DH), 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 31 (Thu.):  at Oakwood, 7 p.m.
Feb. 2 (Sat.):  •  at Talladega (DH), 5 p.m.
Feb. 4 (Mon.):  •  at Edward Waters (DH), 7:30 p.m. EST
Feb. 11 (Mon.):  •  TALLADEGA (DH), 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 16 (Sat.):  •  at Dillard (DH), 5 p.m.
Feb. 18 (Mon.):  •  RUST (DH), 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 20 (Wed.):  •  SUNO (DH), 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 25 (Mon.):  •  PHILANDER SMITH (DH), 7:30 p.m.
March 1-3 (Fri.-Sun.):  Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament, Jacksonville, Fla.
March 20-26 (Wed.-Tue.):  NAIA Division I National Championship, Kansas City, Mo.

•  Gulf Coast Athletic Conference game
(DH) Doubleheader with XULA’s women
All times are Central except where noted
Schedule is subject to change

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