WIU Rallies for 66-59 Comeback Victory Over Gents
Thursday, January 5, 2006

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Box Score

Chris Watson

Larry Logan

Clarke Jackson

Xavier Burnette

MACOMB, Ill. – The Centenary men’s basketball team couldn’t hold on to a 15 point second half lead as Western Illinois shut down the Gents for the final 10 minutes of play to pull out a 66-59 come-from-behind victory.

Entering the half up by nine, WIU pulled within three before the Gents looked to have the game in hand after a 14-2 run. With Centenary up by 15 with 11:19 to play, Western Illinois got hot to put together a 27-2 run to take the lead with five minutes remaining. The Leathernecks held Centenary to just two field goals for five points the final 11:33 of the game.

Chris Watson scored 16 points and grabbed five rebounds, both team highs, to lead the Gents in the loss. Clarke Jackson added nine points and Bryan Baumann chipped in with eight. Xavier Burnette led all players with six assists.

Tenacious Gents defense from the start put a halt to Western Illinois’ (5-7, 1-0 Mid-Con) initial offensive attack, holding the Leathernecks without a field goal for the first 11 minutes of the game. Both squads would trade leads on free throws until then, as Troy Okeson’s three pointer tied the game at 11-11.

With Centenary (2-10, 0-2 Mid-Con) on the offensive, the Gents battled to a six point lead before a pair of Leatherneck trifectas tied the contest at 24-24 with 4:20 to play in the first half. Watson would take over from there, scoring eight of the Gents next 14 points en route to the Maroon and White closing out the period on a 13-4 run. E.J. Kusnyer’s second three of the half with five ticks remaining finished the run and gave Centenary a 37-28 lead at break.

Centenary continues their conference road trek as they travel to Kansas City, Mo., to take on UMKC as part of a doubleheader with the women’s team. The Ladies will tip-off at 4 p.m. at Municipal Auditorium followed by the Gents approximately 30 minutes afterwards.