Gents Open Summit League Play at SDSU and NDSU
Wednesday, December 3, 2008

SHREVEPORT—The Centenary men’s basketball team opens Summit League play this week as they travel to face South Dakota State on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and North Dakota State on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.

 

Centenary (2-6, 0-0 Summit) comes into these match ups having played all eight games on the road thus far. The Gents are looking to regain a win streak heading into conference play after dropping their last game against in-state rival Northwestern State, 90-84 in overtime.

 

Gents’ guard play has come on of late, providing the Maroon and White with a threat from the top of the key. Igniting the offense are senior Nick Stallings who enters the SDSU game averaging 16.9 ppg, good for fifth in the conference and junior Chase Adams averaging 14.4 ppg. Adams leads the Summit League in steals per game with 2.5, while Stallings pulls down 5.5 defensive rebounds per game, which also tops the league.

 

Stepping up are sophomore forward Anthony Gatlin and freshman guard David Perez who have shot the ball well, providing the Gents with other outlets for scoring. Both Gatlin and Perez are coming off their best offensive games yet, as they faced Northwestern State earlier this week. Gatlin put up a career-high 16 points and three assists for his third double figure scoring game this season. Perez also comes into the opening of Summit League play riding a career-high 19 points, five rebounds, two assists, and four steals against NSU.

 

South Dakota State (3-4, 0-0 Summit) hosts Centenary for the second time ever after taking a 72-67 win over Central Arkansas on Sunday. The Jackrabbits are led offensively by Garrett Callahan with 18.4 ppg, good enough for third in the Summit League. Also putting up worthy numbers for SDSU this season is Clint Sargent with 14.4 ppg. Conference leading Anthony Cordova provides the Jackrabbit team with 8.6 rebounds per game, while Kai Williams pulls down 7.0 per game.

 

On paper, both Centenary and South Dakota State share similar statistics. The Gents, as a team, knock down 63.4 ppg, while the Jackrabbits hold a slight lead with 68.6 ppg. With strong guard play from both teams, they each make 8.4 three pointers per game. But the quickness of Centenary allows the “road warriors” 8.5 steals per game, compared to SDSU’s 5.9 per game.

 

The Jackrabbits enter their second season in the Summit League after being downed two games last season to the Gents. Centenary took game one, 80-77 in the Gold Dome and game two, 69-64 on the road. The Gents hold a 2-0 all-time record against the Jackrabbits.

North Dakota State (2-2, 0-0 Summit) will host Centenary on Saturday, but will face Oral Roberts on Thursday prior to the match up against the Gents in Summit League action. NDSU also enters its second season in this conference having only played the Centenary twice all time.

 

The Bison were selected as second in preseason standings in the Summit League as Preseason Player of the Year Ben Woodside leads their offensive attack with 20.5 ppg and 7.3 assists per game. Brett Winkelman contributes with 16.8 ppg and Mike Nelson adds 15.5 ppg to an already solid team.

 

NDSU ranks among the top in almost every category within the Summit League. As a team, they lead with 90.5 ppg, 19.3 assists per game, and 8.5 3-point field goals made per game thus far. However, hanging close with the Bison is Centenary with 32.0 rebounds per game, while NDSU has 35.2 per game.

 

Both teams meet for the second season in a row, where NDSU took both games from Centenary in league play last season. The Bison stole a 102-99 win in overtime in the Gold Dome, but managed to runaway with a 91-73 win in Fargo, N.D.

 

“I think being on the road so far to this point has helped and prepared us for our league games on the road,” said head coach Greg Gary.

 

“We have been able to improve as a team with our late game execution and that experience will help us as many of our conference games will come down to the last five minutes of play, so if it happens, it won’t be new to our guys.”

 

Tune into KSCL 91.3 FM to hear play-by-play action on each of these games. Live stats can also be viewed and heard at GoCentenary.com.