Gents Cruise to 81-56 Victory Over Southern Utah
Thursday, January 22, 2009

SHREVEPORT—Four Gents scored in double-figures to lead the Centenary men’s basketball team to an 81-56 win over Southern Utah on Thursday evening in Summit League action.


In a crucial conference game, Centenary (6-13, 4-4 Summit) was consistent all the way through, as it never trailed on the night. With this home win, the Gents are .500 in league play and 2-1 in the Gold Dome, while winning their third consecutive league contest. 


Centenary couldn’t open the game any stronger as senior Nick Stallings scored six points to put the Gents up 6-0. Two free throws by SUU’s John Clifford ended the run, though strong defense and poor Thunderbird shooting allowed the Gents to hit back-to-back lay-ups by Chase Adams and Stallings to make it 10-2 with 15:26 remaining.


Southern Utah (6-13, 4-4 Summit) didn’t hit its first field goal until a lay-up by Davis Baker at 15:10. Following that shot, a 21-4 run gave Centenary a 31-10 lead midway through the half. Five 3-pointers were hit during that run by Adams, Maxx Nakwaasah, and Stallings.


A long jumper by Lance Hill started, yet another Gent run, as Stallings responded with his third three of the game, while Gary Redus II finished their next possession off with a dunk to make it 38-13 with six minutes to go.


To close the half, a Redus three and a Nakwaasah lay-up at the buzzer allowed Centenary to close the best opening game performance this season with a 55-22 lead.


The Gents shot an astounding 71 percent (22-of-31) from the floor, while holding Southern Utah to 24.1 percent (7-of-29). Stallings and Adams were both 3-of-3 from beyond the arc and led the Gents with 19 and 17 respectively in the first half.


A 33-point lead at half didn’t stop Centenary, as Adams and Nakwaasah came out strong and nailed consecutive shots from deep to control the game, making it 61-22. A Redus three ended a 4-0 Thunderbird run near the 14-minute mark. The Gents’ largest lead of 39 came on two free throws by Stallings with 12:50 to play.


The lead remained consistent as Southern Utah got five points off of Centenary fouls midway, but a David Perez lay-up and an Adams’ jumper kept the offense moving. Dave Marek went on his own 8-0 run for the Thunderbirds around the six-minute mark and finally managed to narrow the Centenary lead to 26.


Freshman Tyler Johnson nailed a three, his first career make as a Gent, with 1:36 remaining ending a stretch of eight minutes without a field goal. With four newcomers on the court to finish the game, Perez, again, nailed a deep three to make it 81-54 with 19 seconds left.


An all-out Centenary performance, where eight Gents found their way into the scoring category was what the Maroon and White needed in a crucial Summit League game at home.


Adams led Centenary with 22 points followed by Stallings with 21. Nakwaasah finished with 12, a career-high for the freshman, while Redus added 11.  Jerrald Bonham had a game-high seven rebounds. Southern Utah was led by Tyler Quinney with 12 and Baker with 11.


As a team, the Gents shot an above-average 56.9 percent (29-of-51) on the game, while holding the Thunderbirds to 32.7 percent (17-of-52) from the floor. Centenary also out rebounded SUU, 32-30.


The Gents will be back in action this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. when they host UMKC in Summit League action.