Gents Capture First Road Win of Season, 47-45 at WIU
Thursday, January 15, 2009

MACOMB, Ill.—In an important road trip to Western Illinois, the Centenary men’s basketball team was able to find a way to pull off a 47-45 win over the Leathernecks on the road on Thursday evening. This game marked the first road win for head coach Greg Gary and the Gents this season.


Centenary (3-13, 2-4) managed to regain its early lead late in the game to win its second Summit League game of the season. Strong play from several Gents sparked the early offense that Centenary needed to remain composed in many crucial late-game situations.


Western Illinois’ (6-11, 3-3) Josh Rivers sunk a three at 19:14 to open the game, but Centenary’s Chase Adams didn’t allow the Leathernecks to hold that lead for very long when he responded with a three of his own, two minutes later. A five-for-five early substitution for the Gents allowed freshman David Perez, off the bench, to make it a 6-3 ballgame on the third three of the game.


Five straight points for the Leathernecks gave them an 8-6 advantage, but a lay-up by Jerrald Bonham tied it at eight apiece with just over 13 minutes to play. Midway through the first half was a back-and-forth battle, as each team responded in consistent fashion, exchanging leads four times.


Though, with 4:42 left, Centenary went on an impressive 12-0 run to end the half and never allow Western Illinois to regain a lead, as its last field goal was at 5:02. During that run, Perez nailed a pair of three-pointers from beyond the arch for his ninth point of the half, while Adams and Stallings contributed with two free throws and two lay-ups to end the half in favor of the Gents, 28-16.


Centenary managed to force 13 first half turnovers for the Leathernecks on seven steals, which led to 14 of its 28 points. The Gents shot 34.5 percent (11-of-32) from the floor, while Western Illinois shot a low 22.7 percent (5-of-22).


Western Illinois scored nine straight points to make it 28-25 in less than three minutes to start the second half. Centenary wasn’t able to find the bottom of the net until 16:09 when Anthony Gatlin hit his first two of the game. 


A lay-up by WIU”s David DuBois made it a three-point game, but Adams was able to knock down his second three to extend Centenary’s lead to six. Though, DuBois and Quenton Kirby hit consecutive shots to make it 34-31 at 11:32.


An 18-6 run for the Leathernecks tied the game at 34 apiece on a free throw by Tommie Tyler. Lance Hill then responded with a lay-up to again, pull ahead. But four consecutive points by DuBois gave Western Illinois its first lead of the half, 38-36 with 8:18 remaining.


Shortly after, Hill was able to sink a big shot from deep to narrow the Leatherneck lead to one, while Stallings’ lay-up off a steal by Adams allowed Centenary to regain it’s the advantage. With 2:21 left, Hill’s lay-up was good to make it 46-42, though a lay up and free throw by Kirby made it a one-point game with under two minutes to play.


With 58 seconds left Stallings had a chance to extend the lead to four on a three, but it rolled in and out and gave Western Illinois a chance to pull ahead. A Leatherneck turnover with 12 seconds remaining, though provided Centenary the needed possession, as Adams was fouled and sent to the line for two. He was able to sink one, as WIU fired up the last shot, though, not finding the rim, giving the Gents the 47-45 win.


Adams’ 13 points and four steals led Centenary, while Perez connected on 3-of-4 from deep for 10 points. Hill chipped in with nine and Stallings added seven in the win. For Western Illinois, DuBois had 14 points and seven rebounds, while Kirby contributed with 12.


The Gents shot 34.0 percent (17-of-50) on the game and the Leathernecks were 17-of-43 for 39.3 percent. Centenary was able to force 23 total WIU turnovers on 11 steals.


The Gents head to IUPUI to take on the Jaguars on Saturday at 7 p.m. (eastern), 6 p.m. (central). This game can be heard locally on KSCL 91.3 FM and on