Gents Squander Late Lead in 102-99 Loss to NDSU
Saturday, December 8, 2007

SHREVEPORT – The Centenary men’s basketball team never trailed until overtime, and from there, North Dakota State never gave back the lead, as it stole away a 102-99 victory from the Gents in Summit League play on Saturday evening at the Gold Dome.   


It was a Nick Stallings led offense in the first half, as he had 14 of Centenary’s (6-4, 1-1 Summit League) 26 points midway through. However, like Thursday’s opponent South Dakota State, North Dakota State (5-5, 1-1 Summit League) stayed within shouting distance as Centenary clung to a 44-35 lead at halftime, despite shooting 60% from the field.  


The Gents and Bison ran up and down the floor in the opening period, as both offenses were shooting well. NDSU shot 43 percent (14-for-32) from the field, but went cold from the outside (3-of-9). The Gents, meanwhile, shot even better, going 15-of-25 from the field, 3-for-6 outside and 11-for-14 from the line.    


The Gents dominated the second half, never allowing their lead to get smaller than five points until the final moments. Still leading by eight points with only 1:44 remaining, Centenary began to show its youth by committing unnecessary mistakes.


Playing with the advantage late in the game against South Dakota State on Thursday, the Gents fouled time after time, stopping the clock for its opponent and allowing them to creep back into the contest. However, the Gents held on for the 80-77 win. Centenary did the same thing on Saturday against North Dakota State, only the outcome was not as favorable.


The Bison’s Mike Nelson missed a three-pointer and the Gents corralled the long rebound with 1:35 to go. Adams pushed the ball forward and then saw his pass intercepted by Ben Woodside, choosing not to slow down the pace and run the clock. Seconds later, Woodside was fouled and NDSU pulled two points closer without time ticking off the clock.


Adams was then fouled on the next possession and missed both free throws, but adding insult to injury, he fouled Brett Winkelman in the backcourt while trying to steal the ball away. Winkelman made both free throws and the Gents’ hold was now down to four points at 85-81 with 53 seconds left.


Tyrone Hamilton was fouled by NDSU, but he made only one of two free throws and on the next trip to the Bison end of the court, Michael Tveidt was fouled on a drive. He made the bucket and the ensuing free throw to pull within three.


Centenary then turned the ball over on the inbounds play and Woodside drove the lane to knot the score at 86 apiece with 32 ticks on the clock. The Gents now had the chance to set up one last play and hold for the final shot, but Hamilton turned the ball over without getting a shot off. 



In the overtime, several of the Gents key players had already fouled out, including Adams and Lance Hill, and NDSU clearly held the momentum. The Bison got an offensive rebound and the put-back to take their first lead of the game 51 seconds into the extra period. Centenary then missed four consecutive free throws and unsuccessfully tried to play catch-up the rest of the way.


Overall, it was a foul-layden game that featured 65 fouls and 84 free throws between the two teams. One NDSU player fouled out, while three others finished with four penalties. The Gents limped to the finish after four players were disqualified, including all three of their post players, and three others had four fouls.


Coming into the game as one of the Summit League’s leading scorers, Brett Winkelman did not disappoint. He scored a career-high 39 points to lead NDSU, and he also grabbed a team-best nine rebounds.


Centenary was led by Stallings and Adams, who tied for a team-high 28 points. Adams enjoyed a career night for the Gents. In addition to his scoring output, he pulled down a career-high nine boards and added six assists and five steals.


Hamilton added 18 points for Centenary, though struggling in a 5-for-17 shooting night. Hill finished with 14 points.


Woodside was held below is season average of 23 ppg. in regulation and was not a factor until the very end for NDSU. He scored only 16 points in the first 40 minutes, but added seven of his team’s 16 points in overtime to make his average afterall. Nelson contributed 21 points in the win for the Bison and Tveidt tossed in 14 points.


Centenary will now have five days off, as it prepares for Louisiana Tech at the CenturyTel Center on Thursday at 7 p.m.