Evans Hits Game-Winning Shot To Defeat Southern Utah
Thursday, January 8, 2004

CEDAR CITY, UtahRickey Evans hits a three-pointer from the right corner with two seconds remaining in overtime to give the Centenary Gents a 67-65 victory over the Southern Utah Thunderbirds Thursday night at the Centrum Arena.

With the score tied at 56 heading into overtime, Andrew Wisniewski hit a three-pointer while being fouled, making the free throw to give Centenary a four-point lead. The Thunderbirds dominated the next two minutes, going on a 9-0 run to go up 65-60 with 2:20 remaining in the overtime.

Centenary slowly worked its way back, with Chad Maclies and Evans each making one of two free throws to cut the Southern Utah lead to three with a minute left. The Thunderbirds, who made their first six free throws of the overtime, proceeded to miss four in a row in the last minute to keep the Gents in the game.

After the first two missed free throws, Evans made a driving layup with 37 seconds remaining to bring the Gents within one point at 65-64. After two more missed free throws by Southern Utah, Wisniewski found Evans in the corner for the game-winning shot.

With Southern Utah (4-9, 0-2) up 30-27 at halftime, Centenary started the second half on a 11-0 run to go up 38-30 six and a half minutes into the period. The Thunderbirds came right back, going on a 12-0 run of their own over the next three minutes to take a four-point lead at 42-38.

The teams traded baskets until five minutes remained on the clock, when Centenary went on a 9-2 run to take a 56-54 lead, highlighted by a three-pointer by Wisniewski. However, David Palmer made two free throws with 2:12 remaining to tie the game, and neither team could score in the last two minutes, forcing overtime.

Wisniewski led all players with 30 points, his highest point total this season. He hit 11-of-19 shots from the field, including 4-of-8 from the three-point line, and 4-of-5 shots from the free throw line. Wisniewski also contributed four assists and three steals in 42 minutes of action.

Evans’s three-pointer at the end gave him 11 points in the game, plus he grabbed four rebounds and dished out three assists. Michael Gale scored ten points, dished out three assists, and earned two steals, while Maclies led the Gents with seven rebounds.

Palmer hit all 15 of his free throw attempts to lead the Thunderbirds with 27 points. Robbie Warren earned a double-double with 15 points and ten rebounds. The Thunderbirds made 26 of their first 31 free throw attempts, but missing the last four made a huge difference in the outcome of the game.

Centenary starts the conference season 2-0 for the first time since the 1995-96 and won its first conference road game since defeating Mercer, 55-52, during the 1998-99 season. The Gents were involved in an overtime game for the first time since the 1999-2000 season, a span of 103 games.

Centenary (7-5, 2-0) continues its three-game road swing Saturday night against the UMKC Kangaroos in Kansas City beginning at 7 p.m.