Solid Defensive Night Gives Gents 75-62 Win
Friday, January 8, 2010
SHREVEPORT-Sophomore Maxx Nakwaasah had a career-high 22 points off the bench to lead the Centenary men's basketball team to a 75-62 win over Summit League foe, IPFW on Thursday evening in the Gold Dome.

The Gents (6-9, 2-3) garnered their second league win and snapped a two-game skid with the win. Three players reached double-figures as sophomore David Perez finished with 16 and junior Roman Tubner added 13.

Centenary opened up strong, going on an 8-0 run after IPFW took the 2-0 lead. Despite narrowing the Gents lead to two (8-6), IPFW gave up a deep three to Tubner, who made it a five-point game.

Nakwaasah hit back-to-back lay ups followed by eight straight points by Perez to spark a 12-0 run, allowing Centenary to take its largest lead of the first half at 14 (26-12) with 8:05 to play.

IPFW was successful with four treys in its next five possessions to chip away at the Gents lead. Freshman Travis Sims added seven points to go up by five (37-32) with under two minutes remaining.

Freshmen Leo Davis and Pedro Maciel gave the Gents five points off the bench to end the half on top, 42-35.

It took nearly three minutes for either team to score, but the Mastodons drew a foul for one-of-two from the line and hit a jumper before Centenary ever saw its side of the score change.

Five minutes in, senior Jerrald Bonham and Perez scored to remain on top, 45-38. However, IPFW responded with a 6-0 run to trim Centenary's lead to one at 10:15. It was an unusual shooting performance to open the final 20 minutes as the Gents only saw one field goal in over nine minutes of play.

After a 6-0 run by the Mastodons, Nakwaasah and freshman Daman Starring drained treys. Though, it was IPFW who remained consistent offensively tying the game at 51-51 after a three and a mid-range jumper.

The Mastodons took over the lead at 54-53 shortly thereafter on a three. It was back-to-back three-pointers by Tubner and Nakwaasah that propelled the Gents to a seven point advantage.

Nakwaasah continued to pour in the points in the final minutes of play, hitting eight straight points for the Gents as they went up by 15 (73-58).  Tubner hit two-of-two from the charity stripe to give Centenary the upper hand.

"Maxx hit some big shots for us. He is a tough kid and being undersized tonight, he played well," said head coach Greg Gary.

"I think we defended much better in the second half and that's what you have to do when you aren't making shots," said Gary.

Centenary held IPFW to just 27 points in the final half and hit 13-of-15 from the charity stripe as the last five minutes resulted in a 10-of-11 effort.

The Gents shot 46.4 percent (26-of-56) from the floor after an impressive 55 percent (17-of-31) in the first half alone.

Starring had eight and Sims added seven points to the mix.

Centenary received 23 points off of 18 Mastodon turnovers.

IPFW shot 40 percent (22-of-55) from the field, led by Zach Plackemeier with 13. Deilvez Yearby added 12 and John Peckinpaugh chipped in with 10.

The Gents were out rebounded 37-31 as Tubner and Bonham led with six and Antwone Snead pulled down a game-high 11 for IPFW.

"It was nice to come back and home and get a win. 17 assists means we are sharing the ball and I like that," said Gary.

"We were able to push the ball late and we stepped up and picked up the pace when they [IPFW] got down," said Nakwaasah.

Centenary will be back in action on Saturday at 7:30 pm against Oakland in the Gold Dome.