UMKC Holds on to Capture Close Win Over Gents, 70-67
Saturday, January 28, 2006

Files associated with this release:
CC-UMKC2 Box Score

Chris Watson

Alexander Starr

Xavier Burnette

SHREVEPORT—In a game that featured several runs, the UMKC Kangaroos held on to a nail-biter in Mid-Continent Conference play in the Gold Dome on Saturday evening. The Gents fought back from an early deficit to briefly take the lead, but could not convert in the waning seconds in falling 70-67. 


UMKC (9-10, 6-3 Mid-Con) jumped all over the Gents in the early going as Centenary looked lethargic from the tip. The Kangaroos outscored the Maroon and White 15-0 over the first 4:17 of the contest and out-rebounded the home team 10-1 over that span. UMKC made their living in the early minutes from the three-point line where the Kangaroos connected on 4-of-5, including a pair by Tim Blackwell.


Centenary (4-16, 2-7 Mid-Con) finally found a rhythm and responded with a 15-2 run of their own to bring the score within two at 17-15. The Gents run was fueled by two trifectas, one each from Xavier Burnette and E.J. Kusnyer, and a pair of three-point plays the old fashioned way.


The hot stretch by Centenary came to a hault when Quinton Day netted seven points over a two-minute span to spark UMKC on a 10-1 push that put the visitors back on top 30-19. The game would finally settle down over the final four minutes and the Kangaroos took a 40-28 lead into the break.


In almost an exact mirror image of the first half, the Gents raced out to a 15-0 run to begin the second period. Chris Watson and Eric Holmes drained back-to-back three-pointers and Burnette added his second long distance shot just ahead of a lay-up by Alexander Starr to give Centenary its first lead of the game at 43-40. Blackwell connected again on another three-pointer and proceeded to score eight straight points for UMKC to retake the lead by five.


The Gents pulled within one with 11:54 remaining on a bucket by Watson and a free throw to make good on the three-point play. The Kangaroos built their lead back to as many as seven points before Centenary made one last move in the final four minutes of play.


Down by six at 68-62, Starr converted on yet another three-point play to cut the UMKC margin to three. A missed shot by the Kangaroos and a dunk by Watson brought the score to a one-point difference. Centenary regained possession, but Watson missed with 22 ticks left on the clock on a jumper from the free throw line. However, the forward grabbed his own rebound and called timeout. With less than 10 seconds to go, Burnette missed a three-point attempt and the Gents were forced to foul. Blackwell made good on both free tosses to put UMKC up 70-67 and a long distance try to tie at the buzzer by Holmes came up short of the front rim.


Blackwell scored a game-high 25 points on 8-of-13 from the field, which included six three-pointers. Day finished with 23 points as the only other Kangaroo to reach double figures.


Watson paced Centenary with 21 points on 6-of-13 shooting and 8-of-9 from the charity stripe while also hauling in eight boards. Starr added 15 points in the loss to go with seven rebounds and Larry Logan pulled down eight carems.


Centenary will next travel to face Valparaiso on Thursday before returning home next weekend to host Western Illinois for homecoming. Both games can be heard locally on KSYR 92.1 FM and over the internet at