Gents Return to Summit League Action at Oral Roberts
Thursday, January 1, 2009

SHREVEPORT—After a busy road schedule against three teams from the Big 12, the Centenary men’s basketball team meets Oral Roberts in Summit League play on Friday night in Tulsa, Okla., at 7:05 p.m. The Gents have played four non-conference games since their last league opponent, North Dakota State, on Dec. 6.

Centenary (2-12, 0-2 Summit) meets the Golden Eagles after having dropped an 80-52 decision to Missouri of the Big 12 on Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena. The Gents struggled to find momentum against the hot-shooting Tigers, shooting only 35.4 percent (17-of-48) from the floor, while Missouri connected on 56.1 percent (32-of-57).

For the Gents, Nick Stallings led the way with 17 points and 12 rebounds, his second double-double this season. Chase Adams added 14 and Gary Redus II chipped in with 10.

A big night could be in store for Centenary’s Stallings against Oral Roberts, as he is only five points away from becoming the 29th Gent all-time to reach the 1,000 Point Club. He currently leads the Gents in scoring (17.1 ppg) and rebounding (6.8 per contest), as well as minutes played per game (37.0). The Houston, Texas native ranks seventh in scoring and leads The Summit League in defensive rebounds per contest (5.5).

The other half of Centenary’s scoring threat comes from Adams, who averages 14.0 points per game and 4.7 rebounds per contest. The junior guard is atop the league in steals per game (2.4) and dishes out over four assists a contest. Redus also contributes to the Gents’ offense with 9.5 points a game.

Oral Roberts (3-11, 1-1 Summit) comes into this league game after losing to USC, 66-56 on Sunday in Los Angeles, Calif. The Golden Eagles were led by Kevin Ford’s double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds and Marcus Lewis’s 11 points.

Robert Jarvis’s 18.1 points per game paces the Golden Eagles and also ranks him fourth in scoring among the league, while Lewis’s 57 percent from the floor and 12.4 points a contest adds depth to this solid Oral Roberts team.

With the conclusion of non-conference games, Centenary will battle Summit League opponents for the rest of the season and is looking for its first win after dropping the last seven straight road games. A tough task is ahead of them with Oral Roberts, The Summit League Preseason favorite, but even with that, each team remains consistent with one another in most statistical categories.

Both teams have played a tough non-conference schedule and haven’t faired well thus far. The Gents’ preparation against SEC and Big 12 opponents has challenged the young Centenary team to return to winning ways in The Summit League home stretch. Oral Roberts has faced North Carolina, USC, and Missouri, dropping all three matches to these large programs.

Statistically, Oral Roberts (70.4 ppg) out scores Centenary (60.4 ppg) by as many as 10 points per game, while carrying a 42.8 field goal percentage compared to the Gents’ 37.2 percent. Centenary currently edges Oral Roberts in free throws, shooting 67.6 percent over the Golden Eagles’ 65.1 percent.

These two teams last meeting came on March 8 of last season in The Summit League Championship when Oral Roberts faced Centenary as the top seed in the tournament. The Golden Eagles took an 84-56 win over the Gents. Lance Hill led Centenary with 17 points and Andre Hardy of Oral Roberts had 18.

Friday night’s game will mark the 13th time Centenary battles Oral Roberts on the hardwood since 2004, as the Golden Eagles hold an 11-1 record. Centenary’s only win against this Summit League foe came in the 2003-04, when the Gents won 71-68 in the Gold Dome.

For all live action tune in locally to KSCL 91.3 FM or log onto www.GoCentenary.com. Friday's game will also be available on Fox College Sports, ESPN Fullcourt, and ESPN360.com.

The Gents’ next game will mark the first home game this season when they host Summit League opponent, Oakland on Thursday, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. in the newly renovated Gold Dome.