Gents Suffer Tough Loss at Western Illinois
Saturday, February 16, 2008

MACOMB, Ill.—The Centenary men’s basketball team lost its third road contest out of its last four by less than three points, falling to Western Illinois, 68-67, on Saturday evening. The Gents had two opportunities to take the lead in the last minute of play, but failed to convert both times.


Centenary (9-17, 3-11 Summit) held the lead only once in the game, a 4-3 advantage just minutes in. But, the scrappy Gents held close the entire way and answered a second half surge from the Leathernecks to still have a chance to win in the final seconds.


Western Illinois (12-14, 7-8 Summit) held a 36-30 lead at the break and opened the second period on a 7-0 run to extend its hold to 13. The Gents ended their scoring drought with a bucket by Jamere King, but minutes later the Leathernecks would open a 14-point lead after a free throw from Louis Johnson.


Centenary responded with a 13-1 run of its own to pull within two points at 51-49 with 10 minutes to play. Nick Stallings led the charge with eight points in the rally on a pair of baskets and a 3-pointer.


The teams traded scores over the next four minutes until the Gents got their first chance to take the lead with Stallings headed to the free throw line at the 6:39 mark. Stallings tied the game by making the first free toss, but Centenary was denied the lead when he missed his second attempt.


Western Illinois never led by more than six points the rest of the way and the Gents cut the deficit to two points on several occasions. Trailing by four, Chase Adams’ steal led to a layup for Lance Hill, who converted the three-point play by making the ensuing free throw. The conversion made the score 68-67 in favor of the Leathernecks with 1:17 remaining.


A Western Illinois turnover gave the Gents possession, but Tyrone Hamilton’s jumper was off the mark. Centenary then rebounded James Washington’s miss with 16 ticks left on the clock, but Stallings final attempt missed as well.


The Gents were out-rebounded 47-31 in the game and missed 11 free throws total. Centenary finished 19-of-30 from the charity stripe, while the Leathernecks were 10-of-17.


Stallings finished with a game-high 20 points and 12 rebounds to collect the double double. Hamilton added 15 in the loss while Lance Hill tossed in 11. Jamere King also scored 11 points, his third straight game to do so.


Centenary returns to the court on Thursday when it opens its final homestand with Southern Utah. The Gents complete their home schedule for the season on Saturday against UMKC, which is also homecoming.