Centenary and NSU Set to Meet in I-49 Rivalry
Monday, November 28, 2005

Laura Kizyte

Clarke Jackson

SHREVEPORT—The Centenary men’s and women’s basketball teams will square off against their counterparts from Northwestern State University in the Interstate 49 rivalry on Tuesday in the Gold Dome. The Ladies will battle the Lady Demons at 5:30 p.m. while the Gents and Demons will tip off at approximately 7:30 p.m.


The two schools have a long history against each other on the hardwood floor as NSU is located just 45 minutes south of Shreveport on I-49. The women’s squads have tangled 13 times in the Ladies brief nine-year history with NSU taking every meeting, while the men’s teams have faced off 148 times since their first contest in 1921. The Gents hold the all-time series advantage by 16 games at 82-66, but the Demons took last year’s game 83-76 in Natchitoches.


The Lady Demons are off to a 3-1 start and are coming off of wins over Alcorn State and Southern Miss. Tena Matthews and Shenise Milliner lead NSU with 12.3 ppg and 12 ppg respectively. Stopping the balanced offensive attack of NSU will be a focus area for Centenary as Chassidy Jones and LaTonya Perry are each posting over 11 ppg as well.


Centenary heads into the match-up with a 1-2 record after the Ladies defeated Sam Houston State in the Gold Dome 68-63 on Saturday. 2004-05 Mid-Con Newcomer of the Year Laura Kizyte leads the way for the Ladies at 15 ppg while junior Holli Wilkins is contributing 14 ppg.


On the men’s side, the two teams have split the last 10 meetings going back to the 1997-98 season. The usually familiar opponents will not recognize each other this time around as the Gents are sporting a new coach in Rob Flaska and 10 new players.


Mike McConathy’s Demons boast a roster that contains seven seniors led by Clifton Lee. Lee is posting 15.3 ppg and 8.3 rpg to pace NSU in both categories. The experienced Demons narrowly missed a victory at Missouri over a week ago and pulled off an upset at Mississippi State with a 76-75 overtime win on Saturday to bring their mark to 2-1 on the season.


The Gents are still familiarizing themselves with each other and their new playbook, having posted a 1-2 record after their first three games. Centenary downed UT-Tyler in the season opener, but lost handily to SMU and Ole Miss over the last week. Sophomore Clarke Jackson has unexpectedly sparked the offense for the maroon and white at 11 ppg while newcomers Alexander Starr, Jason Underwood, and Chris Watson are all averaging over 10 ppg for the Gents. 


The Centenary broadcast of the doubleheader will be aired in the Shreveport-Bossier area on KSYR Sunny 92.1 FM. The games can also be heard over the internet at www.SportsJuice.com.