Mico Sjekloca

 new Orleans, LA - Mico Sjekloca scored 19 points and 10 rebounds, his second double-double of the season, to lead the Dillard Bleu Devils (2-4) past Life University, 82-70, Friday night at Dent Gym.

  It was another tough night for the Dillard men, as the Running Eagles did just that early in the first half, taking a 15-point lead (22-7) at 11:41.  With a chance to cut the lead to two with three second remaining in the period, DeCarlos Riley went 1-2 from the free throw line and the Bleu Devils had to take a four-point deficit heading into the break, 31-35.

In second half action, Dillard came out fighting and, by 18:00, took their first lead (38-37) on an Avry Ingram three-pointer, assisted by Cornice Wingate.  The teams would break eight ties before the Bleu Devils would finally break free on a field goal by James Burkes at 4:21, for a 63-61 lead.  Burkes was fouled by Life's Greg Brown following the play and converted the bonus for a three-point lead.  From there, defense coupled with free throws down the stretch helped the Bleu Devils to their second win of the season.  Dillard shot 66.7 percent from the charity stripe.

Following Sjekloca in scoring was Burkes, who had 18 points and six rebounds.  Ingram had 13 and four steals, and Riley added 11 with five rebounds.  Sjekloca also had three blocks. Wingate dished out six assists.

For the Running Eagles (9-6), Tay Barber was the leading scorer with 15 points, plus seven assists and five boards.  Brown added 14 and six rebounds and Bryant Dunn chipped in 12 with eight rebounds and three blocks.

After the holidays, the Bleu Devils will play a final exhibition contest at Southern Miss on December 30.  Game time is 7 p.m. at Reed Green Coliseum in Hattiesburg, Miss.


Bleu Devils fight to double-overtime for first season win over Talladega 104-99

Sat, Nov 21, 2009 - [Men's Basketball]

 New Orleans, LA - Celebrating homecoming, the Dillard Bleu Devils took two overtime periods to put the Tornadoes of Talladega away with a 104-99 victory, for their first win of the season Saturday night at Dent Gym.  Mico Sjekloca led all DU scorers with his first double-double of the season, 22 points and 11 rebounds.

 In first half action, the two teams seesawed early on and, by the six minute mark, Dillard was up by 10 (34-24) after a three-pointer by Cornice Wingate.  However, the Bleu Devils watched that lead dwindle down and disappear as a buzzer beater by Talladega's Micah Hagens sailed through the net for three points as time ran out to end the half 40-38.  The Tornadoes went .600 from beyond the arc, shooting 6 of 10, and .500 inside the perimeter hitting 14 of 28 field goals.

Talladega didn't cool off during halftime and led the entire second half of the game with Dillard tying them twice - less than a minute into the half (40-40) and at the end, to send the game into overtime tied at 76 all.  In the first extra period, James Burkes and Autrail Manning paced DU, but back to back turnovers by the pair resulted in a second tie, 86-86, requiring an additional overtime period.  The Bleu Devils gave more of a team effort in the second overtime, with multiple scorers getting into the mix.  By 2:33, two free throws by Burkes gave Dillard a nine-point lead - its biggest during the extra periods.  Down the stretch, Wingate shot 5 of 6 from the charity stripe to seal the win.

Burkes finished with 22 points and eight rebounds.  Sjekloca also led the team defensively with four steals and two blocks.  Other players in double figures included Wingate (16), Manning (15) and DeCarlos Riley had 12 with a team-high seven assists.  Kiwan Smith paced Talladega with 22 points and 10 boards.

Dillard (1-3) will be idle for the remainder of the month, picking up its schedule on December 12 when the Bleu Devils travel to Columbus, Ga., to take on the Columbus State Cougars for the second time this season.   The game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start. 



Friendship sets tone for Ford
Exhibition game with Dillard a favor for an old friend.

STILLWATER — Why is an NAIA school from New Orleans on Oklahoma State's basketball schedule? Because OSU coach Travis Ford is helping a friend.

OSU will play an exhibition game Tuesday night against Dillard University. Ford and Dillard's head coach, Dale Brown, were teammates and roommates at Kentucky.

"We were literally like brothers," Ford said.

"He's somebody I would do anything in the world for. He's just a great, great guy."

Dillard will get a much-needed big payday (specifics about the financial guarantee were not immediately available) because Ford agreed to schedule the game.

Athletic departments all across the country are battling budget crunches, but Dillard was dealt a double whammy because the university was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Brown, named Dillard's coach in 2008, should know a thing or two about teaching young men to cope with adversity. He used to dream about reaching the big time so he could take care of his mother.

Immediately after signing a contract with the Sacramento Kings in 1993, his mom died in a car accident.

The story gets sadder. Brown has said in multiple interviews that he asked permission to leave training camp to attend the funeral and the Kings balked. He went to the funeral and was waived, but the Kings fulfilled contract obligations.

At the urging of ex-Kentucky coaches Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith, Brown returned to school when he was in his mid-30s to earn a degree. Now he's

 in the same profession as former teammates like Ford and Arkansas coach John Pelphrey. Pelphrey's team played an exhibition game last week against Brown's team. Now it's Ford's turn.

"He better not come in here and beat me now. He probably will at this point," Ford said, citing injuries to multiple OSU players.

Teeng Akol and Nick Sidorakis were hurt prior to an exhibition opener. Keiton Page suffered an injury in the exhibition opener and will not play Tuesday, according to Ford. Obi Muonelo has an ankle injury and his availability is in doubt.



The 2nd Annual Bleu Devil Classic, featuring DILLARD vs. XAVIER, will be held Saturday, January 30, 2010, at the UNO Lakefront Arena. The women tip offf at 5 pm, followed by the men at 7 pm. 

Fans and alumni can purchase floor seats for $20 or general admission tickets for $12 online at ticketmaster.com or arena.uno.edu (under upcoming events).    Tickets may also be purchased through walk up on the Dillard campus at the cashier's office, located on the first floor in Rosenwald Hall, at the Lakefront Arena or any Ticketmaster location, or by calling at 1- 800-745-3000.


 The 2nd Annual Billy Ray Hobley Scholarship Gala will be held on Friday, January 29, 2010 at 8 pm in Kearny Hall. Tickets for the Billy Ray Hobley Scholarship Gala can be purchased by calling 504-816-4867.




's Basketball Rr

Dillard drops exhibition to NCAA Division I Arkansas 77-59

Tue, Nov 3, 2009 - [Men's Basketball]

New Orleans, LA - Dillard dropped its season opener on the road at NCAA Division I University of Arkansas 77-59 in exhibition action at Bud Walton Arena, Monday night.  Sophomore guard Myron McGowan led all DU scorers posting the season's first double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Early on, the Bleu Devils stayed close to Arkansas before the Razorbacks went on a 15-7 run to take a 10-point lead midway through the first half.  The seesaw battle continued as Dillard came back to within three.  The close contest then saw Arkansas go on another run of 26-12 over the final seven minutes of the half to lead at the break by 19, 47-28.

DU came out shooting in the second half, scoring the first six points, but Arkansas responded with eight of the next 10 points and never looked back.  The Bleu Devils made a late run in the contest, but never got within 18 points of the Razorbacks.  Despite the loss, Dillard was able to apply just enough defensive pressure to edge the Razorbacks by one point, 31-30, to finish the half.

Other Bleu Devils in double digits were senior guards Autrail Manning and James Burkes with 14 and 11 points, respectively.  Mico Sjekloca (So./F) had eight rebounds, while DeCarlos Riley (Sr./G) added six assists.

Dillard continues its season on the road this weekend with an East Texas swing, playing at Texas College on Friday, November 6 at 7:30 p.m., and at Wiley College on Saturday, November 7 at 4 p.m.