PREVIEW: Louisiana Tech at Centenary
Friday, December 11, 2009

Saturday, December 12 - 7:00 pm - Gold Dome

NORMAN, Okla.-The Centenary men's basketball team played a much stronger second half, but dropped its Wednesday night contest to the Big 12 Oklahoma Sooners, 86-62. The Gents fell to 4-4 on the season with the loss, while the Sooners improved to 6-3.

Centenary's offensive highlights stem around the team's 80.0 ppg and its second-half scoring. The Maroon and White is outscoring its opponents by 10 (352-342) in the final 20 minutes of play. Led by David Perez with 21.8 ppg, Centenary also has two other Gents in double-figure scoring in Roman Tubner and Maxx Nakwaasah who contribute with 15.0 and 10.1 ppg respectively. The Gents are also out shooting their opposition from the three-point and free throw lines. Centenary averages 7.4 treys a game for a .319 percentage, while they are better at the charity stripe with a .784 percentage.

Defensively, the Gents have been outsized much of the year, however, they are holding their own when it comes to swiping passes. Centenary averages an impressive 9.5 steals per game to its oppositions' 7.4. Jerrald Bonham is pacing the Gents with 7 blocks this season, while several Gents remain close in rebounding with Bonham on top with 5.6. Nakwaasah (5.1), Starring (4.4) and Matt Marseille (4.3) each contribute on a consistent basis.

Freshman Pedro Maciel might only be averaging 4.7 ppg and 16.7 minutes each contest, but this newcomer has proven to be a fun player to watch. Maciel, a Brazil native is shooting 46 percent (6-of-13) from deep and has dished off 10 assists. Off the bench against Oklahoma, Maciel was a key contributor in narrowing the Sooners' lead to 15 when he knocked down a deep three from the top of the key. Maciel scored seven in that loss and had a career-high five assists off the bench.

Daman Starring recorded a career-high nine rebounds in the loss to Oklahoma. The redshirt freshman improved his season total to 35 and 4.4 per game for third best on the team. Starring barely missed a double-double as he had 9 points and 9 rebounds against the Sooners. His previous high on the boards was six against Texas College on Nov. 19 at home.

Senior Bonham is just one block away from passing Chad Maclies and Ed Dotson for ninth place all-time in blocks with 48. He currently has 47 blocks. The Plano, Texas native is coming off a 17-block season just last year and has totaled seven blocks already this season. Bonham is currently tied for eighth in the league in blocks this season.

The Gents return home after a one-game road trip to Oklahoma. Centenary is 3-2 in the Gold Dome this season. During the five games, the Gents are averaging 89.0 ppg and have loss both contests by three points or less.

The Centenary men's basketball team shared guests of honor status with Santa himself at the Sutton Children's Hospital Kids Council meeting earlier this week. The Gents were on hand to celebrate the Holidays with the Kids Council members and also paid a visit to over 20 children, who unfortunately must spend at least part of their holidays in the hospital.

Gents Head Coach, Greg Gary, felt honored to have been asked to appear and hopes to make it an annual event.
"We are so lucky to have our good health and this is the perfect time of the year for our players to get in the community and share their happiness and team spirit with others who may need a little lift during the holiday season."

Louisiana Tech enters Saturday's contest with a 7-2 record, having dropped its most recent contest to Arizona, 83-67, on the road. The Bulldogs are 3-2 away from Ruston and had a five-game winning streak going until the Wildcats snapped it on Wednesday.

As a team, Louisiana Tech is shooting 75.3 ppg and pulling down 37.8 rpg. Kyle Gibson is leading the Bulldogs with 21.4 ppg. Teammate Olu Ashaolu chips in with 12.7 ppg and has a team-best 9.7 rpg. Also scoring in double figures is Jamel Guyton with 11.9 ppg, while Magnum Rolle has an impressive 20 blocks on the season.

The series between Louisiana Tech and Centenary is a heated matchup with the second most games played in Gents' history behind Northwestern State. This meeting will mark the 127th time the two teams have met on the hardwood, dating back to the 1925 season. Centenary leads the Bulldogs all-time, 69-57, for a 126 games played.

The last time these two teams met was a year ago in the CenturyTel Center. Louisiana Tech defeated the Gents, 77-71.

Centenary will take a few days off before returning to play on Saturday, Dec. 19 at Ole Miss in a 1:00 pm contest. Following that game, the Gents will stay on the road to visit Mississippi on Tuesday, Dec. 22 at Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson, MS at 7:00 pm.