Gents Use Comeback to Earn First Mid-Con Win
Saturday, January 6, 2007


Files associated with this release:
CC-WIU Box Score 1-6-07


Jerrald Bonham

SHREVEPORT—The Centenary men’s basketball team defeated Western Illinois 64-58 in the Gold Dome on Saturday to earn its first Mid-Continent Conference victory of the 2006-07 season. The Gents trailed for the first 34 minutes of the game, but stepped it up in the final minutes and hit their free throws down the stretch to secure the win.

 

Centenary (7-10, 1-1 Mid-Con) fell behind 7-0 straight out of the gate and tied the game only once in the entire first half. The opening period ended badly for the Gents when, down by four, they turned the ball over and Western Illinois capitalized with a pair of free throws. Another Centenary turnover with 12 seconds remaining led to a three-pointer at the buzzer by Troy Okeson to extend the Leatherneck’s advantage to nine at 32-23 at the break.

 

Western Illinois (4-11, 0-2 Mid-Con) controlled play to open the second half until Centenary finally put together a 12-2 run over a six minute span behind six points from Larry Logan. The Gents used the rally to pull into a tie at 37-37 and then took their first lead another six minutes later at 46-45 on a jumper from Tyrone Hamilton.

 

Centenary would lose that lead only one time and stayed on top the rest of the way by hitting eight of 10 free throws over the final five minutes. Hamilton drained a big three-pointer with the game tied at 54 apiece with just under two minutes to play, but perhaps the biggest bucket of the night came from freshman Jerrald Bonham.

 

With the Gents leading by three, Western Illinois turned up the defensive pressure in hopes of forcing a turnover. The shot clock crept down to five seconds and guard Chase Adams found Bonham open with two seconds left. Bonham turned and shot a 15-footer from the baseline as the buzzer sounded with the ball in the air. The ball dropped through the net with one minute left to the enjoyment of the Centenary crowd, giving the Gents a five-point cushion that proved to be the difference. The Leathernecks were forced to foul the rest of the way.

 

Hamilton led all scorers with 19 points off the bench for Centenary. Alexander Starr dropped in 18 points to go with six rebounds and six assists and Logan added 10 points in only 17 minutes of action because of foul trouble. Bonham recorded eight points in the win.

 

Western Illinois received 16 points from David Jackson and 10 points from Sammy Hunter.

 

Centenary will now travel to face UMKC on Thursday at 7 p.m. and Southern Utah on Saturday in Mid-Con action.