PREVIEW: Gents Play Ole Miss, Mississippi State
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Saturday, December 19 - 1:00 pm

Tuesday, December 22 - 7:00 pm

The Gents begin a five-game road trip at Ole Miss and Mississippi State before the holiday break. Centenary will take on the #20 Rebels on Saturday at 1:00 pm, followed by a 7:00 pm contest on Tuesday at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson, MS against the Bulldogs.

SHREVEPORT-As always a heated hardwood rivalry is expected when Centenary battles Louisiana Tech and that was evident in Saturday night's non-conference battle as the Bulldogs overcame two overtimes to defeat the Gents, 102-96 in the Gold Dome. The Gents (4-5, 1-1 Summit) had five players in double-figure scoring on the night, led by freshman Daman Starring and sophomore David Perez with 19. Senior Jerrald Bonham added 14, while newcomers Matt Marseille and Pedro Maciel had career-highs of 14 and 13 respectively.

Offensively, the Gents are scoring a league-leading 81.8 ppg, but are allowing 83.4 ppg from their opposition. Centenary is shooting 44 percent (234-535) from the floor and averaging 8.8 three-pointers a game. The team is dishing off 15.0 assists per game. Perez is leading the Gents with 21.4 ppg and 45-51 (.882) from the free throw line. Junior Roman Tubner is contributing with 13.9 ppg, while dishing off a team-high 39 assists. Starring is third in scoring with 10.7 ppg and second in assists with 24.

Defensively, the Gents are leading the league in 3-PT field goals made, holding their opponents to just 5.2 a game. They are also out stealing their opposition with 9.0 steals per contest to just 7.7 by their opponents. Tubner leads with 17 steals, while Marseille follows with 14 off the bench. Bonham paces Centenary with 5.3 rebounds a contest and eight total blocks.

Fans were entertained after the Gents fired off 69 percent (20-of-29) from deep for a record setting night against the Bulldogs from Louisiana Tech. Centenary's previous high for most three-pointers made in a game was 18 against ETBU on Jan. 13, 1992. They also secured the top percentage with 69 percent after surpassing the 68 percent (11-of-16) that was posted against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Jan. 29, 2000. These new highs are leading the league this season.

Freshman Pedro Maciel is making some noise off the bench for Centenary in the early part of the season after recording a career-high 13 points for the Gents in Saturday's conrest. The Brazil native is leading the leading the league with an impressive 9-of-17 (.529) from the 3-PT line. He is also fourth on the team with 14 assists and is averaging 5.8 ppg. Maciel was a big contributor with 3-of-4 from behind the arch as a non-starter in Centenary's loss to La Tech last Saturday.

Senior Bonham secured ninth place on the all-time block list in the double-overtime loss to Louisiana Tech. He currently has 48 blocks. The Plano, Texas native is coming off a 17-block season just last year and has totaled eight blocks already this season.

Centenary may have dropped its last three games; however, the Gents still remain atop the Summit League in several individual and team categories.

Team Ranks 1st :
Scoring Offense: 81.8 ppg
3-PT Field Goal Defense: .303
3-PT Field Goals Made: 8.8 avg/g

Team Ranks 2nd:
Free Throw Pct: .768 (189-246)
Assists: 15.0 avg/g

Individual Top 5 Rankings:

David Perez
1st scoring: 21.4 ppg
1st 3-PT FG Made: 3.1 avg/g
3rd Free Throw Pct: .882 (45-51)
5th Minutes Played: 34.0 avg/g

Roman Tubner
4th Steals: 1.9 avg/g
4th Assists: 4.3 avg/g

Pedro Maciel
1st 3-PT FG Pct: .529 (9-17)

Daman Starring
3rd Minutes Played: 35.4 avg/g

#20 Ole Miss will host Centenary after winning its fifth straight game on Wednesday evening. The Rebels are 9-1 entering Saturday's contest and are 5-0 at home. Their only loss came to Villanova, 67-79 on Nov. 22. Ole Miss defeated UTEP in overtime, 91-81 led by scoring leader Chris Warren with a career-high 32 points.
This strong Ole Miss team is scoring 83.1 ppg and pulling down 39.6 rebounds a contest. Warren is pacing the Rebels with 19.2 ppg, while Terrico White adds 16.6 ppg. Murphy Holloway contributes with 11.8 ppg and averages a team-high 7.3 rebounds a game, while teammate Zach Graham is the fourth Rebel to average in double-figures with 10.0 ppg.

Saturday's contest will mark the 13th meeting between the two teams since the series began back in 1921. The Gents and Rebels are tied 6-6 all-time and haven't faced one another since the 2005-06 season when Ole Miss defeated Centenary, 107-67 in Oxford, MS. Neither coach has faced each other on the hardwood prior to this game.

Mississippi State will play the University of Houston on Saturday before meeting Centenary in Jackson at the Mississippi Coliseum on Tuesday evening. The Bulldogs are 8-2 with a five game win streak, having dropped their last contest to Richmond on Nov. 27, 62-63. They hold a 3-1 mark at neutral locations, which this game will be considered. Mississippi State's most recent win came against Wright State, 80-69 on Wednesday.

The Bulldogs are averaging 76.2 ppg and pulling down an impressive 40.6 rebounds a contest. Jarvis Varnado leads Mississippi State with 14.3 ppg and 10.1 rebounds a contest. Teammate Ravern Johnson also adds 14.3 ppg to the mix, while Barry Stewart (11.7), Dee Bost (10.7), and Kodi Augustus (10.1) contribute with double-figure scoring.

Tuesday's contest will mark the seventh time Centenary and Mississippi State meet on the hardwood. The Bulldogs own the all-time record of 6-0 over the Gents since the 1989-90 season. The last time these two schools met was Centenary's season opener last season under second-year head coach Greg Gary when Mississippi State took a 77-55 win over the Gents in Starkville, MS. Bonham, Starring, and Tubner are the only three current players who saw action in last year's contest.

Following Centenary's contests with Ole Miss and Mississippi State, the Gents will break for the Christmas holidays before returning on Monday, Dec. 28 at Louisiana-Lafayette in a 7:05 pm matchup.