Flaska Nabs First Win Over Division I Opponent as Gents Dismiss BSC 79-70
Saturday, December 17, 2005

Files associated with this release:
CC-BSC Box Score 12-17-05

Xavier Burnette

Chris Watson

Alexander Starr

Eric Holmes

SHREVEPORT—New Centenary head coach Rob Flaska collected his first win at the helm of the Gents in the season opener against UT-Tyler, a Division III opponent. Saturday afternoon in the Gold Dome, the Gents new coach added to his list of firsts by collecting his first victory over a fellow Division I member. The maroon and white ended their five-game losing skid with a 79-70 win over Birmingham-Southern.


The scoring was limited in the opening minutes of the first half as both teams were content to run through several of their offensive options. Centenary got on the board first when Larry Logan spun and made good on his jumper to give the Gents the 2-0 advantage. Birmingham-Southern answered on its next possession and the score would remain tight, but always in the Gents’ favor until Thomas Viglianco netted his third three-pointer of the first half to put the Panthers ahead at 30-29.


BSC claimed its largest lead of the first period at 32-29 before Xavier Burnette tied the game with his third trifecta of the half. Burnette would score 10 of the Gents’ final 14 points to carry the maroon and white to a 40-35 lead at the break. Centenary shot a sizzling 60.9 percent in the first 20 minutes, including 62.5 percent (5-of-8) from downtown.


Centenary (2-5) struggled to find good looks at the basket early in the second half and managed only two field goals over the first 7:50. The Gents continued to stay aggressive and were rewarded for their diligence with opportunities at the free throw line. Centenary’s defense also clamped down, allowing only six field goals to Birmingham-Southern until the 2:51 mark when Dwayne Paul’s move inside paid off.


After both teams had combined for only 14 first half free throw attempts, the two squads attempted 54 free tosses in the final period as the referees took control of the game. Centenary benefited by converting on 19-of-30 tries while BSC made good on 15 of their 24 attempts from the charity stripe.


The Gents enjoyed their largest lead of 12 at three different points in the contest, but the Panthers narrowed the deficit to only five at 63-58 with just under five minutes remaining. With the momentum shifting, one play would put an end to the BSC run and eventually seal the win for Centenary.


After a made free throw by Viglianco, the Gents pushed the ball up court and Bryan Baumann found Chris Watson open underneath the basket. Watson took one step and threw down a thunderous dunk in the face of the Panther defender. Watson was fouled on the play and converted the three-point opportunity to extend the Centenary lead back to a safe eight points. Watson then delivered a pair of knockout blows with two more dunks over the next minute and a half.


Burnette’s 20 points would be tops for the Gents who finished the game shooting 56.1 percent from the field, which included a 7-of-13 effort from the three-point line. Watson tossed in 17 points in 23 minutes of work and Alexander Starr continued his steady play with 14 points and nine rebounds. Eric Holmes rounded out the double-digit scorers for Centenary by adding 11 points.


Birmingham-Southern (4-3) was led by Viglianco’s 18 points, but the big man disappeared in the second half. He was 4-of-8 in the first period, but misfired on his only field goal attempt of the second half. Sredrick Powe suffered the same fate, scoring nine first-half points and finishing with only 11 on the day. Bucky McMillan also scored 11 points for the Panthers.


Centenary will have a quick turnaround as they immediately head back to Birmingham for the second time this season. The Gents will take on the UAB Blazers on Monday evening at 7:30 p.m.