Gents Reach New Heights with 83-75 Win over UMKC
Saturday, January 24, 2009

SHREVEPORT—In the final game of the first round of Summit League play, the Centenary men’s basketball team handed UMKC an 83-75 loss in the Gold Dome on Saturday afternoon. The win was the fourth straight for the Gents in league play, breaking the previous three-game streak back in 2003-04, when they joined the league.


Centenary (7-14, 5-4 Summit), in its second consecutive game, had four Gents in double figure scoring. With this victory, the Maroon and White improved to 5-4 in the Summit League. 


Maxx Nakwaasah nailed a three to open the game at 18:34 and Centenary never looked back. In a 10-4 early run, Nick Stallings nailed a jumper, while Jerrald Bonham sunk two free throws, and Chase Adams drained his first three of the afternoon. 


UMKC (6-16, 2-7 Summit) took one lead during the opening 20 minutes on a lay-up by Latreze Mushatt at the 13:17 mark, but a deep three by Stallings quickly put the Gents back on top, 13-11. Another Centenary run followed, as the Gents managed to pour in 13 points to UMKC’s two to make it 23-13 with 9:39 to play.


The Kangaroos didn’t let up, as they found a way to go on a late 8-0 run in the first half, to bring them within one, 32-31 with 29 seconds left. Though, a missed lay-up by Stallings was finished off with a Lance Hill tip-in at the buzzer, to send Centenary into halftime with a 34-31 lead.


The Gents shot 52.2 percent (12-of-23) in the opening half, sinking five three-pointers, while UMKC shot 44.4 percent (12-of-27) from the floor.


As they have done the last two games, shooting guards Nakwaasah and Adams came out draining two consecutive threes to extend the lead to nine, 40-31 in under a minute of play.


Centenary took a 10-point lead on a David Perez three at 16:48 and UMKC never got within seven points until a lay-up by Reggie Hamilton nearly six minutes later. 12 points was the largest lead of the half and it came on a Gary Redus II free throw within the six minutes, at 13:20.


A Kangaroo 9-0 run began and ended with dunks by James Humphrey, tying the game at 60 apiece with 7:05 to play. Redus sunk one-of-two from the charity stripe to end the run, but a free throw by Humphrey, again, allowed UMKC to tie it at 61.


The game remained close for the next three minutes, but two huge threes by Nakwaasah, with under three minutes to play proved to be enough, as Centenary went up 77-69. Four straight points by Adams followed to make it an 11-point game with 1:32 to play. The junior guard sunk two more free throws in the final minute of the game.


Centenary remained consistently strong offensively, shooting 57.4 percent (27-of-47) on the game and sinking 12 three-pointers, for an astounding 57.1 percent (12-of-21). Even though UMKC knocked down 44 points in the paint, they shot 45.8 percent (27-of-59) from the floor. The Kangaroos out rebounded the Gents, 37-24.


Adams led Centenary with 19 points, Hill had 18, Stallings chipped in with 16 and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. Nakwaasah finished with a career-high 14 points and six rebounds. For UMKC, Humphrey had 16, while Spencer Johnson added 14.


The Maroon and White will be back in action next Saturday when they host Oral Roberts at 2:30 p.m. in Summit League play.