New Orleans -- Both the women's and men's basketball teams at Dillard University were crowned GCAC Tournament Champions on Sunday. This is the first time since 2004 that the Lady Bleu Devils have won the title and it's a three-peat for the men's team.
The women played first in the championship double-header at Xavier University's Convocation Center, with Edward Waters leading Dillard 33-24 at halftime. In the third, the Bleu Devils went on a tear, out-scoring the Tigers 25-14 and taking the lead after back-to-back threes from Shaelynn Moore, who finished with 13 points. They stretched their lead to as many at 10 in the 4th quarter and were able to fend-off Edward Waters' late surge, winning 63-59. These two teams had split games during the regular season, with Dillard winning the first meeting and the Tigers winning the second. The rubber match Sunday, with the highest stakes, went to Dillard (23-5) who was led in scoring by Adriiana Jackson with 17 points. Alexia Moore added 15 and Alyssa Washington was named the Most Outstanding Player with 5 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
"We were able to just come together as a team," said Dillard Head Coach Norbert Rome. "I talked to them really a lot about us working together as a team and not as individuals. I told them that what got us here was that we worked together as individuals. I said if we continue to do what we've been doing, we'll crumble as individuals or we'll rise to the challenge as champions if we come together as a team. They just bought into it."
"It means the world," Washington said. "We've been doing this for so long and we've been through so many obstacles, so much adversity. It just means so much to us and the coaches as well."
In the men's game after, it wasn't nearly as close, with Dillard jumping ahead early and never giving Xavier the chance to catch-up. The Bleu Devils led by 15 at the half and kept after it in the second, beating the Gold Rush 86-71. Kristopher Allmon led Dillard (20-9) with 27 points, while Quinton Jackson added 24 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Xavier's Jeff Dixon led all scorers with 30, as the Gold Rush drop to (24-8).