WIU Drops Gents 85-68, Snaps 28-game Road Losing Streak
Thursday, January 27, 2005

Files associated with this release:
Box Score

Tyrone Hamilton

Chad Maclies

SHREVEPORT—The visiting Western Illinois Leathernecks snapped their 28-game road losing streak by downing Centenary 85-68 in the Gold Dome Thursday evening. WIU shot 56.9 percent from the field to earn the win while outrebounding the Gents 35-27. The victory also gives the Leathernecks their first back-to-back wins in Mid-Con play since the 2002-03 season after they disposed of Valparaiso earlier this week.


Western Illinois (7-11, 3-4) took control of the game in the first four minutes of the second half, building its lead to 14 points at 53-39 after a lay-up and three-pointer by sophomore Troy Okeson. Centenary received 18 second-half points by freshman Tyrone Hamilton, but it was not enough as the Leathernecks continued their hot shooting from the floor. WIU notched a 61.3 percent shooting percentage over the final 20 minutes of the contest.


Centenary (2-17, 0-8) did not have an answer for the inside game of Fred Oguns and Eulis Baez. The Gents switched from a man-to-man defense to a zone in the second stanza, but it did not produce the results coach Kevin Johnson had hoped for. The Western Illinois duo combined for 39 points with Baez leading the offensive charge with 24 points in the win.


Baez completed his double double by pulling down 12 rebounds. Oguns contributed 15  points to the cause for the Leathernecks while T.J. Gray added 13 points with a 5-of-7 shooting effort.


Hamilton paced the Gents, pumping in a career-high 29 points, which included four trifectas. Chad Maclies tallied his fifth double double of the season by scoring 17 points and hauling in 11 boards in the loss.  


In the opening minutes of play, after the teams had worked the score to a 5-5 tie, Western Illinois went on a 7-0 run thanks to seven consecutive points by Oguns. The Leathernecks worked their advantage up to 13 points at 28-15 before Hamilton answered for the Gents, rattling off six straight points to pull Centenary within seven again at 28-21. The teams then traded baskets until the intermission as Western Illinois led 41-32 at the break.


The loss is a school-record 12th consecutive for the struggling Gents. The old mark of 11 straight losses was set during the 1967-68 campaign when Centenary finished the season 3-23, notching wins only over East Texas Baptist, Northwestern State, and Texas A&M.