Gents Embark on Important Road Trip
Wednesday, January 23, 2008

CEDAR CITY, Utah—The Centenary men’s basketball team faces a big weekend ahead as it travels to Southern Utah and UMKC. The games with the Thunderbirds and Kangaroos will play an important role down the stretch when teams begin jockeying for top seeds in the Summit League Tournament a little over a month from now.

 

Centenary (9-10, 3-4 Summit) has won back-to-back games, discarding Western Illinois and upsetting preseason league favorite IUPUI last week in the Gold Dome. The front half of the conference schedule was heavy on home games for the Gents, meaning they are going to have to win some key games on the road late in the season. The opportunity to do so has come this week in the form of back-to-back games against two teams tied for eighth place in the standings.

 

Southern Utah (4-14, 2-5 Summit) is always a tough place to play when the change in elevation is factored in, but the Thunderbirds are just 1-6 in Cedar City this season. The T-Birds have lost four consecutive contests, but two of those losses were by four points or less. Newcomer of the Year candidate Geoff Payne is a one-man show for SUU as the transfer is averaging 20.7 ppg with no other player posting double figures for first-year coach Roger Reid.

 

UMKC (7-13, 2-5 Summit) has taken a turn for the better of late, winning two of its last three games in the Summit League under new coach Matt Brown. The Kangaroos knocked off Southern Utah and South Dakota State before falling to North Dakota State last Saturday. Four players pose offensive threats to opposing teams for UMKC, led by Dane Brumagin (18.6 ppg). Tim Blackwell (10.9 ppg), Brent Stephens (10.8 ppg), and Reggie Hamilton (10.7 ppg) are also contributing significantly on offense.

 

For Centenary, the one-two punch of Tyrone Hamilton and Nick Stallings has received some support from Lance Hill and Chase Adams in recent weeks. Hamilton and Stallings are averaging 17.1 and 16.1 points per game respectively, placing both in the top 10 of the Summit League rankings. However, Hill and Adams are both dropping in better than 13 points per game during conference play, making it tough for defenses to zero in on Hamilton and Stallings.

 

The Gents are 4-4 all-time against Southern Utah and split the season series with each team winning on their home courts last year. As for UMKC, the Kangaroos hold a 6-3 advantage over Centenary, but the Gents split that series last season as well.

 

Tip time on Thursday against Southern Utah is set for 8 p.m. central. Saturday’s contest at UMKC will begin at 7 p.m. Both games can be heard on the radio at KSCL 91.3 FM and over the internet at www.GoCentenary.com. Live video feeds can be viewed at www.TheSummitLeague.org.