Momentum Never Gained in Loss at WIU
Friday, January 15, 2010
MACOMB, Ill.-The Centenary men's basketball team wasn't able to gain any momentum throughout the Thursday night contest as Western Illinois defeated the Gents, 70-51, in Summit League play.  

The Gents (6-11, 2-5 Summit) were led by sophomore David Perez with a game-best 18 points, 16 of which came in the second half, while freshman Daman Starring finished with 17 points.

Starring made it a 3-0 game on a lay up and a free throw, but Western Illinois tied the score on a three pointer at 18:20. It was back-and-forth for the first five minutes until the Fighting Leathernecks used a 20-2 run on several treys to go up 23-7.

A jumper by Starring at the 15-minute mark was the last shot the Gents saw over a five-minute span until freshman David Swartz scored four straight points to narrow Centenary's deficit to 23-11 with 10 minutes to play.

Again, defense by Western Illinois proved to be too strong for the Gents' offense, holding Centenary scoreless for another six minutes as it put together a solid 7-0 tilt.

Senior Jerrald Bonham hit a free throw and Starring drained a three late in the half, but the Gents were held to just 15 points in the opening 20 minutes as Western Illinois led 37-15 at the half.

Perez fired off a three 30 seconds into the final half, but five points by Western Illinois' scoring leader Ceola Clark put Centenary down by 24 (42-18).

The Gents struggled to find offensive momentum until they tallied eight consecutive points by Starring and freshman Matt Marseille combined, making it a 48-32 game.

After two treys by Fighting Leatherneck David Nurse, Starring hit one of his own to pull the squad within 19 at 60-41 with 5:45 left to play in the half.

Perez was able to score four points on a three and a free throw, but Western Illinois finished its part with two free throws to go up 70-48. Nakwaasah connected on a three at the buzzer, allowing Centenary to leave without tallying its lowest scoring game of the season.

Centenary finished the night, shooting 36.4 percent on 16-of-44 from the field.

Western Illinois was better from the floor at an impressive 60.0 percent (24-of-40). Clark led the Fighting Leathernecks with 17 points, while Nurse chipped in with 15.

The Gents were out rebounded, 31-20. Bonham led Centenary with six rebounds and Marseille pulled down four. Western Illinois' Quenton Kirby and Tommie Tyler each swiped six boards.

Centenary will take on IUPUI on Saturday at 1:00 pm CT, before returning home to host SW Assemblies of God on Tuesday at 7:00 pm.