Home Opener Finally Here, Gents Host Oakland
Wednesday, January 7, 2009

SHREVEPORT—The Centenary men’s basketball team will end its opening 15-game road span when it host Oakland in Summit League action on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Gold Dome. This game marks the home opener for head coach Greg Gary and the Gents this season.


Centenary (2-13, 0-3 Summit) wrapped up a tough road trip last week as it fell to Preseason Summit League favorite, Oral Roberts, 82-59 in Tulsa last Friday evening. The Gents were held to just 28.6 percent from the floor, while ORU shot 49.2 percent. The undersized Centenary team was overpowered by the Golden Eagles’ inside game, as ORU posted 40 points from inside the paint.


In that game, senior Nick Stallings reached a milestone moment, when his second shot of the game made him the 29th Gent all-time to join the 1,000 Point Club. He finished with 16 points to lead the Gents, while senior Lance Hill chipped in with 12. Chase Adams also contributed with 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds in the loss.


Stallings has consistently remained atop the Centenary team in scoring posting 17.0 points per game and pulling down a team-high 6.6 rebounds a game, while managing to start all 15 games, averaging 37.2 minutes a contest. Adams is right behind Stallings in most categories, pouring in 13.8 points a game and grabbing 4.9 rebounds a contest. He continues to lead The Summit League in steals per game with 2.3. Gary Redus II chips in with 9.4 points a game, while Hill, of late, has added 7.3 points a game and a perfect 6-of-6 from the line in only three games played.


Oakland (10-7, 3-1 Summit) is coming off a huge 77-76 win over North Dakota State in league action last Friday. A Golden Grizzlies’ three-pointer in the final seconds propelled OU to a 3-1 mark in Summit League play heading into this game against Centenary. Leading the way in that game was Keith Benson with 17 points and nine rebounds and Drew Maynard with 15 points off the bench.


The Golden Grizzlies are led by Erik Kangas with 16.6 points a game and an astounding 93.8 percent from the free throw line. Johnathon Jones is averaging 13.9 points a contest, while Benson chips in with 12.5 a game and pulls down 6.5 rebounds per outing.


Shooting woes continue to cause problems for Centenary who is only averaging 60.3 points a game, while Oakland’s 72.6 a game is good for second in the league. The Gents rely a great deal on guard play, meaning size has been an issue all season, as they only average 30.8 rebounds a game, while Oakland is comparable with 34.1 a contest. The Golden Grizzlies lead the league in blocked shots with 4.1 a game and the Gents lead in steals with 8.2 a contest.


Centenary and Oakland’s last meeting on Feb. 9 of last season ended in favor of Oakland when it took a 97-61 win over the Gents in the Gold Dome. In that game, Kangas had 14 for Oakland and Stallings had eight for Centenary.


Since 2004 when Centenary met Oakland on the court for the first time, the Golden Grizzlies hold an all-time record of 8-2 over the Gents. The last time Centenary beat Oakland was in the 2005-06 season, 75-66, in Rochester, Mich.


Following this game, Centenary will host IPFW on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in the Gold Dome.


As always, both games can be heard locally at KSCL 91.3 FM or on www.GoCentenary.com for all live action.