Final Second Free Throws Lift Leathernecks Over Gents
Sunday, February 15, 2009

SHREVEPORT—From beginning to end, a Summit League battle was evident on Saturday evening, as the Centenary men’s basketball team took a crushing, 55-54 loss at the hands of Western Illinois in the Gold Dome.

Centenary (7-19, 5-9 Summit) fell just short in the final seconds, falling to 5-9 in league play, while dropping its fifth straight contest. Both the Gents and Leathernecks remained consistently competitive from beginning to end, but two final second free throws by Western Illinois’ top scorer, David DuBois provided them with the needed win.

Western Illinois (9-17, 6-9 Summit) opened on a 7-0 run, until Chase Adams hit two free throws at the 15:47 mark to give Centenary its first points of the night. A lay-up by Maxx Nakwaasah tied the game at nine with 13:07 to play and the Gents took their first lead, 11-9, on a lay-up by Gary Redus II shortly after.

Much of the first half remained close, as the Leathernecks had the slight advantage throughout, but a free throw by Lance Hill tied the game up at 20 apiece at the 3:06 mark.

Two three pointers by Nick Stallings and David Perez gave Centenary its largest first half lead of six, 26-20 with 2:15 to play. Though, Josh Rivers nailed back-to-back long-range shots, allowing Western Illinois to even the game at 26-26 heading into halftime.

Moving into the second half, each team remained consistent with one another. At 9:32, however, the Leathernecks managed to go up by as many as seven points, following nearly two minutes of missed opportunities for the Gents.

Two free throws by Redus and a three by Hill narrowed the lead to two for Western Illinois, but DuBois responded with a deep shot of his own, making it a 44-39 game in favor of the Leathernecks with 7:53 to play.

A lay-up by Stallings and a three by Adams allowed the Gents to take a two-point lead at the four-minute mark, 48-46. But again, Western Illinois tied it up for the ninth time, 52-52 with 2:32 remaining.

A Redus lay-up at 1:23 gave Centenary the lead, 54-52, but a foul by the Gents allowed Josh Rivers to sink one-of-two from the line to make it a one-point game.

A missed Centenary jumper and a foul down the stretch put Leathernecks’ DuBois at the charity stripe with less than five seconds to play. He sunk both free throws, which gave Western Illinois all it needed to close out the game, 55-54. Adams had a chance to win it on a buzzer-beating jumper, but it couldn’t find the bottom of the net.

Adams led Centenary with 13 points and seven rebounds, while Stallings and Redus added 12. DuBois paced the Leathernecks with 19 points and Rivers chipped in with 18.

On the night, Centenary shot 37.5 percent (18-of-48) from the floor, while connecting on 14-of-19 from the line for a 73.7 percent performance. Meanwhile, Western Illinois’ first half of 50 percent from the floor propelled them to shoot 46.3 percent (19-of-41) from the field on the game. The Leathernecks also sunk 11-of-13 from the line for 84.6 percent. The Gents were out rebounded, 32-24.

The Gents will be back in action on Thursday as they travel to UMKC for a 7:05 p.m. tip-off. Live action can be heard locally on KSCL 91.3 FM and www.GoCentenary.com.