Gents Can't Hold Lead, Fall at Hawai'i 74-66
Monday, December 31, 2007

HONOLULU, HI—The Centenary men’s basketball team continues to take steps forward under the direction of Rob Flaska, and one of the biggest improvements has been the competitiveness of the team in road games. However, the inexperienced Gents team is still learning how to hold on to a lead, a weakness displayed in Centenary’s 74-66 loss at Hawai’i on Sunday night.


Centenary (7-7) wrapped up its non-conference schedule for the 2007-08 season by taking on the Rainbow Warriors for the first time since the 1978-79 campaign. Everything was going the Gents way in the early going as the Maroon and White jumped out to a 13-point lead in the first half.


The Gents scored the first six points of the game and raced out to a 14-2 lead just five minutes into the contest. Nick Stallings scored seven of those points and Lance Hill drilled a three-pointer to put Centenary on top by 12.


The Gents were still winning by a score of 26-13 with 7:45 to go in the opening half when they started to lose control of their hold on the ‘Bows. Hawai’i went on a 17-4 run over the next six minutes to tie the score at 30 apiece behind 10 points from Jared Dillinger, which included two three-pointers.


Two free throws from Stallings and a jumper by Justin Glenn sent Centenary into the halftime break with a 34-30 advantage.


Hawai’i (4-8) would not let the Gents pull away and took the lead for just the second time at 44-42 with 13:03 to play. The Rainbow Warriors extended their hold on Centenary to 11 points with 2:57 left before the Gents made a sudden surge.


Centenary sank three-pointers on four consecutive possessions, three by Tyrone Hamilton and another from Chase Adams, to pull within three at 69-66. Trailing by five with 37 seconds remaining, Hamilton missed the front end of a one and one and the Gents were forced to foul the rest of the way. Hawai’i made good on five of its six free throw attempts down the stretch to seal the victory.


Centenary shot 56 percent in the first half but slipped to 37 percent in the second period. Conversely, the ‘Bows raised their shooting efforts in the last half, improving from 46 percent to 61 percent.


Stallings led the Gents on offense with 24 points in the loss. The junior went 9-of-21 from the floor and added four steals. Hamilton finished with 19 points on 8-of-16 from the field.


Bobby Nash dropped in 21 points to lead four Hawai’i players in double figures. Dillinger added 17 points on the strength of four three-pointers while Matt Gibson and Riley Luettgerodt scored 12 and 11 points respectively.


Centenary will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 5 when it hosts Oral Roberts in Summit League action at 5:30 p.m.