Gents Sweep Road Series with 58-56 Win over IUPUI
Saturday, January 17, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Freshman Maxx Nakwaasah’s put back with one second remaining sends the Centenary men’s basketball team home with a 58-56 win over IUPUI on Saturday evening in league action. The two-game road sweep for the Gents marks the first time Centenary has accomplished this feat since joining The Summit League last season.

 

Centenary (5-14, 3-4 Summit) escaped the The Jungle victorious on the campus of IUPUI (9-9, 2-4) for the first time ever in the all-time series since 2004. A solid first half and a competitive final 20 minutes send the Gents home with its third league win.

 

Centenary quickly jumped ahead 3-0 on a Chase Adams’ three and was able to hold IUPUI from scoring for nearly five minutes into the first half. The Jaguars finally got on board on a Robert Glenn tip in with 15:22 remaining.

 

An early 10-2 run sparked a 10 point advantage for the Gents, the largest lead of the half, on two three-pointers by freshmen David Perez and Nakwaasah and lay-ups by Gary Redus II, to make it 14-4 at 12:24. 

 

IUPUI managed to get within four points on Leroy Nobles’ dunk with only three minutes remaining, but Redus’ long jumper was good for two and Centenary went up by six. With under two minutes to go, Nakwaasah nailed his second three of the half. Following thereafter was Jaguars’ coach Ron Hunter, who was issued a technical foul, which resulted in two free throws by Redus with 1:09 left.

 

Centenary never trailed in the opening 20 minutes and led at the half, 29-20. The Gents shot 40 percent (10-of-25) and 39 percent (5-of-13) from beyond the arch. IUPUI was held to just 26 percent (6-of-23) from the floor and couldn’t find the bottom of the net, missing all six three point attempts.

 

With a nine-point lead for Centenary heading into the second half, IUPUI’s Gary Patterson sunk the first three for the Jaguars to narrow the lead, 29-23. Though, seven straight points by Gents’ scoring leader Nick Stallings provided Centenary with a 13-point advantage (36-23) with under 15 minutes to play.

 

IUPUI went on its own 8-0 run midway through the half mostly due to second-chance points, bringing the Jaguars within five, 36-31. Nakwaasah’s jumper at 10:17 ended the run, but Nobles hit back-to-back three-pointers for IUPUI to narrow the late lead to just one by the Gents, 38-37. A big-time shot from deep by Perez just seconds later made it a four-point game.

 

The Jaguars took its first lead of the game (42-41) on two made free throws by Pettiford, but Adams beat the shot clock on the Gents’ next possession on a rainbow three that found the bottom of the net just in time to bring Centenary back up by two with 7:16 remaining.

 

The lead exchanged several times over three minutes, while each team sunk 3-of-4 shots from the charity stripe. Centenary’s Redus fouled out and Stallings played half of the final 20 minutes with four fouls. Since Perez’s three at the nine minute mark, Centenary hadn’t led by more than one, until Adams’ drained his third three of the game and Stallings found the net for two with 2:17 left to make it 54-50. But Patterson of IUPUI wouldn’t allow the lead to get any larger when he nailed a three to make it a one-point game.

 

With under a minute remaining, the Jaguars regained the lead, 55-54 on two free shots by Nobles. But Stallings drove the lane and brought Centenary back up by one with only 35 seconds left. IUPUI was fouled by Stallings, his fifth of the game, sending Glenn to the line for the Jaguars, who misses his first, but makes his second tying the game at 56 apiece with 13 seconds remaining.

 

Adams had the ball for Centenary, which proved to be the final possession, his shot was fell short, but a rebound and put back by Nakwaasah ended the game in favor of the Gents.

 

Centenary shot 45 percent (21-of-47) from the field, while draining 9-of-21 from deep for 43 percent. IUPUI made six second half three pointers to keep them within reach, but was held to just 33 percent (15-of-45) from the floor. The Jaguars out rebounded the Gents, 34-27.

 

Stallings finished with 13 points to lead Centenary. Teammates Adams and Redus each had 12 and Nakwaasah added 10 in his first career start as a Gent. Jerrald Bonham pulled down a team-high six rebounds in the win. For IUPUI, Nobles had 13 points, Glenn added 12, while Pettiford chipped in with 10 points and eight rebounds.

 

Centenary will be back in action on Thursday in the Gold Dome against Southern Utah at 7 p.m. and UMKC on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. for the opening of a three-game home stand.

 

These games, as always, can be heard locally on 91.3 FM or www.GoCentenary.com.