Free Throw Chances End Gents Hopes of Postseason
Saturday, February 18, 2006


Files associated with this release:
CC-Oakland2 Box Score 2-18-06


Ronnie Martin

Bryan Baumann

Clarke Jackson

Alexander Starr

Chris Watson

SHREVEPORT—The Centenary men’s basketball team saw its hopes of a postseason berth under first-year head coach Rob Flaska swished away at the free throw line on Saturday evening in the Gold Dome. The Gents fell to Oakland 86-76 in a game which was largely decided from the charity stripe as the visiting Golden Grizzlies sank 34-of-38 attempts compared to only 9-of-12 for the Maroon and White. With the loss Centenary can only tie for the eighth spot in the conference tournament field with Western Illinois, but the Leathernecks hold the tiebreaker after sweeping the season series over the Gents.

 

Centenary (4-22, 2-13 Mid-Con) scored the opening basket of the game on an inside move by senior Ian Maxwell but that would be the only lead for the home team until three-quarters of the way through the half. Oakland managed to stay in front of the Gents until a drive by Chris Watson resulted in a three-point play after being fouled with 8:22 remaining in the first period. The points knotted the game at 17 apiece before a lay-up by Xavier Burnette put Centenary on top by two. The Golden Grizzlies responded by hitting on 5-of-6 consecutive free throws to retake the lead and carried the advantage into the half at 33-30.

 

Oakland (10-16, 5-9 Mid-Con) roared out of the gate to begin the second half on a 9-0 run on contributions from four different players. The 12-point lead at 42-30 would be the biggest for the Golden Grizzlies in the contest. The Gents slowly chipped away at the deficit and trimmed the difference to just two points at 52-50 on the legs of six straight three-pointers, three each from Bryan Baumann and Clarke Jackson.

 

The teams traded baskets over the next three minutes before Oakland made its move with under eight minutes to go in the affair. With a three-point lead, Patrick McCloskey scored inside and Brandon Cassise drained a trifecta to push the score out to 70-62. Vova Severovas corralled a rebound on the following possession and converted on the put-back to make the Golden Grizzlies 10-point leaders and essentially put the game away.

 

Centenary was out-rebounded on the night 42-26, but committed a season-low nine turnovers in the loss. The Gents shot 46 percent from the field to just 43.1 percent for Oakland, but they could not overcome the large differential at the free throw line.

 

Both teams placed five players in double figures, but Cassise led all players with 21 points on 4-of-7 from downtown and a 9-of-9 effort on free throws. Calvin Wooten scored 18 points for Oakland despite shooting just 6-of-16 from the field. Severovas contributed 17 points while Shawn Hopes and Rick Billings added 11 and 10 points respectively.

 

Freshman Ronnie Martin put together his second consecutive productive game off the bench as he led Centenary with 14 points. Baumann finished with four triples for 12 points, Jackson’s three trifectas led to 11 points, and Alexander Starr put up 11 points for the Gents. Watson recorded a double double in the loss as he pulled down 11 boards to go with 10 points.

 

Starr also added five assists while Eric Holmes dished out a game-high eight assists in the loss for Centenary.

 

The Gents will host Oral Roberts in the Gold Dome at 7 p.m. on Thursday. The game will be the final contest of the season for Centenary.