Gents Win Thriller Over SUU to End Eight-Game Skid, 67-65
Saturday, January 14, 2006

Files associated with this release:
CC-SUU1 Box Score 1-14-06

Alexander Starr

Clarke Jackson

Chris Watson

Larry Logan

SHREVEPORT—The Centenary men’s basketball team snapped its eight-game losing streak with a thrilling 67-65 win over Southern Utah Saturday night in the Gold Dome. Alexander Starr’s tip-in with .2 seconds remaining sealed the win for the Gents much to the dismay of the Southern Utah contingent. The game ended on a made shot by the Thunderbirds that was disallowed at the buzzer to provide first-year Centenary coach Rob Flaska with his initial Mid-Continent Conference victory.


Centenary (3-13, 1-4 Mid-Con) held a comfortable double-digit lead the entire evening until the Gents ran into a spell with four minutes remaining. Holding the upper hand at 63-53, a turnover by Bryan Baumann was followed by a foul on a SUU three-point attempt. Henry Uhegwu made good an all three free throws and moments later, following another turnover, Eric Holmes was whistled for a hard foul. Uhegwu made both attempts again and the Thunderbirds scored on the ensuing possession to trim the deficit to 63-60. A third turnover by the Gents led to two free tosses for Southern Utah and a three-pointer by Uhegwu gave the visitors their first lead of the second half at 65-63 with 1:42 left to play.


The 12-0 run by SUU (3-14, 2-3) finally ended when Larry Logan found Xavier Burnette underneath for an easy bucket for the Gents. After several possessions in which both teams failed to score, Centenary took control of the ball after forcing a shot clock violation with 37.1 ticks in the contest.


The Gents began their game-winning move with eight seconds on the shot clock and looked as though they might not get a shot off in time. Burnette finally forced up a fade away from the baseline and the buzzer from the shot clock sounded as the ball was in mid-air. Alertly, Alexander Starr followed the shot and was there to tip the miss through the net as time seemingly expired.


A brief celebration was quickly broken up as Southern Utah’s coaching staff questioned the officials about the possibility of time remaining on the clock after the basket. The crew met briefly and placed .2 seconds back on the clock. The Thunderbirds used a timeout and on the inbounds play found Uhegwu open on a long pass to the other side of the court. The guard caught the ball and threw up a desperation shot that careened off the backboard and into the basket as time expired. However, NCAA rules state that .2 seconds is not enough time to catch, possess, and attempt a shot. Teams can only try to tip in a pass in the vicinity of the rim, so the basket was waived off.


In the first half, Southern Utah jumped to an early lead on the strength of a 7-for-7 effort from the free throw line, but the momentum changed on a single play six minutes into the game. With an 11-6 advantage, Justin Allen stole an errant Centenary pass and sped down the court looking for an easy dunk. As Allen approached the rim, Jason Underwood timed his jump and forcefully rejected the Thunderbird’s dunk opportunity. The Gents grabbed the rebound and raced the other way only to finish the play with a dunk by the hustling Underwood.


Centenary then responded with a 15-2 run on four three-pointers including three by Clarke Jackson to pull ahead 21-13. The Gents extended their lead to 31-20 on three consecutive buckets by Chris Watson and a free throw by Larry Logan and ended the first period ahead 39-27.


Uhegwu led all scorers with 22 points that included an 11-of-12 effort from the charity stripe. Justin Allen added 13 points for Southern Utah in the loss while Lubor Olsovsky pulled down a team-high eight rebounds before fouling out.


Centenary was paced by a Chris Watson’s 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field, but it was Clarke Jackson’s career-high 18 points that pushed the Gents over the top. The sophomore connected on 4-of-7 of his long distance shots while adding three assists. Logan tossed in 10 points on the evening while Starr finished with six points and a game-high 10 boards.


The Gents will now receive some much-needed rest after playing their last six games in 11 days. Centenary will travel to face IUPUI on Thursday at 7 p.m. before continuing on to battle Oakland on Saturday in a pair of league games.