Gents Play Strong, Fall in Season Opener 85-62 to Marquette
Saturday, November 14, 2009
MILWAUKEE, Wisc.-Sophomore David Perez had a career high 25 points, though it wasn't enough as Centenary dropped its season opener 85-62 to Marquette on Friday evening.

Playing in front of a powerful blue and gold crowd of 14,093 in the impressive Bradley Center of Milwaukee, the Gents (0-1) battled Big East Marquette to the end, but a late, second half surge by the Golden Eagles proved too much for Centenary.

Down by an early six, Perez put the Gents on the board with the first two of the night.

The Golden Eagles offense was sharp, going up 11-2 near the 16-minute mark, but responding was sophomore Maxx Nakwaasah, who took a feed from Perez to drive the lane for two.

Sharp shooting by Perez ­put the Gents within reach on his first three-pointer of the game, followed by a layup after a Roman Tubner steal. Down by just two, a Marquette foul sent freshman Daman Starring to the line, who sank two to tie it at 18-18 with nine minutes to play.

Quickly following, freshman Matt Marseille gave Centenary its first lead after sinking one of two from the charity stripe. Though, a strong Marquette defense forced the Gents to fire off contested shots to go up by eight (32-24) with 3:33 to play.

Perez led a 32 percent (8-of-25) shooting performance from the floor with 18 in the opening 20 minutes. As a team, the Gents took advantage of several Golden Eagle fouls to net 11-of-14 from the line during the first half for 79 percent, though were outrebounded 22-15.

Marquette led 40-29 at the half.

The second half opened with three quick fouls by the Golden Eagles, but for nearly three minutes, the score remained a stalemate. Several missed opportunities by the Gents gave way to a 47-29 lead until Perez sank his third trey of the game, followed by a free throw for a four-point play. Senior Jerrald Bonham put up two just before Perez connected on yet another long ball to make it a 49-38 game.

Falling down by 15 with 12 minutes to play, Bonham drove the lane to sink two and draw the foul for three points. A midway-second half surge by the Golden Eagles gave them a  73-47 lead with six minutes to play.

Marseille stopped Marquette's run when he drained a deep range, corner shot for three.

It was a very consistent second half shooting performance by the Golden Eagles that allowed them to pull ahead, 84-59 with just over a minute to play.

A long range three by freshman Travis Sims added some late spark, but it was Marquette's late run that sent the Gents home with a season opening fall.

Centenary shot 34.0 percent (18-of-53) from the field, while Marquette used a 54 percent second half shooting percentage to end just above the 50 percent (32-of-63) from the floor.

Outsized, the Gents pulled down 26 rebounds to the Golden Eagles' 43.

Leading the way was Perez, who sank 8-of-16 from the field, 4-of-10 from behind the line and a perfect 5-of-5 from the charity stripe for 25.

Behind him was Marseille with 11 off the bench including two late treys.

Bonham added nine in the effort, while Starring chipped in with five and a team-high six rebounds.

The Gents will be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Grambling State in a 7:30 pm tipoff.