Early Lead Disappears in 82-70 Loss to NDSU
Friday, January 1, 2010

FARGO, N.D.-Despite an early game lead, the Centenary men's basketball team fell to North Dakota State, 82-70, on New Year's Eve in Summit League action. 

The Gents (5-8, 1-2 Summit) had four of their five starters reach double-figure scoring, led by sophomore Maxx Nakwaasah, freshman Daman Starring and junior Roman Tubner each with 14, while senior Jerrald Bonham added 13.

Back-to-back jumpers by Starring and Bonham gave the Gents a 4-2 advantage after four minutes of play passed. NDSU tied the score on its next possession.

Centenary used a 7-3 run to go up 11-7 on Tubner's four points and Starring's three. The Bison, however, began chipping away at the lead and tied the game again. Though, Tubner scored five points and freshman Matt Marseille's lay up gave the Gents the upper hand by five, 18-13, with 12:30 to play.

Starring drained another trey after an NDSU turnover and freshman David Swartz hit a jumper and fired off a three of his own to remain on top, 26-20. The Bison remained feisty with a 6-0 run midway through the half to narrow the Gents lead to two (28-26).

With 8:00 minutes to play, Bonham sank a jumper in the paint, followed by a three by Starring to keep a solid distance at seven. NDSU slowly trimmed down Centenary's lead until finally going ahead, 38-37, for the first time all night after a 10-4 run.

Two Gent turnovers allowed the Bison to extend their lead to five (44-39) with 1:20 remaining in the opening 20 minutes. Bonham used a lay up and foul to connect on a three-point play to send Centenary into halftime trailing, 46-42.

NDSU opened the second half with a lay up, while Nakwaasah drained a three for the Gents first goal. However, four straight points put the Bison up by seven (52-45).

Nakwaasah didn't stop there as he hit another trey at 15:30, but Centenary didn't see its next basket until the eight-minute mark after NDSU went on an impressive 17-0 run on several missed Centenary opportunities. The Bison led 72-49 after the surge.

The Gents began to hit shots to stay within reach, but NDSU would respond with makes of its own to remain on top.

Centenary scoring leader David Perez didn't see his first basket until there was 3:55 remaining in the game on a jumper from Tubner. Nakwaasah and Tubner each scored two in the final minute of play, but it was NDSU's strong second half that overcame its early deficit.

The Gents shot 44.4 percent (24-of-54) from the floor and knocked down eight treys on the game, while NDSU was slightly better from the field at 48.5 percent (32-of-66) with five long balls.

The Bison were led offensively by Michael Tveidt with a game-high 29 points. He was followed by Austin Pennick with 12 points, while Eric Carlson and Josh Vaughan each added 11.

Centenary was out rebounded 38-31. Bonham led the Gents with seven rebounds, while Nakwaasah pulled down five. NDSU got seven rebounds from Carlson and Jordan Aaberg.

The Gents will take on South Dakota State on Saturday at 7:30 pm in Brookings, SD. All action can be followed on www.GoJacks.com.