Score Doesn't Reflect Gents Effort in Tough Road Loss
Friday, February 5, 2010
ROCHESTER, Mich.-Freshman Matt Marseille had a career-high 20 points as the Centenary men's basketball team played the top-ranked Oakland Golden Grizzlies to a 75-64 loss on Thursday evening in Summit League play.

The Gents (7-16, 2-10 Summit) had three players reach double figures. Behind Marseille was senior Jerrald Bonham with his second career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while freshman Daman Starring added 15 points.

An unusual start to the game gave Centenary's Starring a chance to give the Gents a 2-0 lead after Oakland had six players on the court for a technical foul. Sophomore Maxx Nakwaasah drained a three in their next possession to go up by five.

Centenary's early defense held Oakland scoreless until the 17:45 mark 8-0 run before going on a solid 8-0 run as Marseille had four, while Bonham and Starring each contributed with two.

The Golden Grizzles were held without a bucket by the Gents for four minutes as a three by Johnathan Jones left Oakland trailing, 15-8 with 12 minutes to play. Another impressive 8-0 run by Centenary was led by a long ball from freshman Pedro Maciel and a dunk and free throw by Bonham.

Oakland managed to chip away at the Gents solid lead after back-to-back treys from Jones and Derick Nelson. However, Marseille and freshman Jeron Trotman helped extend Centenary's lead back to eight (25-17).

A 14-2 run to by the Golden Grizzlies allowed them to take their first lead (30-29) of the game at the 1:30 mark and head into halftime with a 33-29 tilt.

Marseille lead all scorers in the first half with 15 points.

Oakland would score the first six points of the final 20 minutes before Bonham would hit one-of-two from the charity stripe after three minutes passed. The Golden Grizzlies continued to increase their lead after eight straight points, going up by 18 (50-36) with 13:45 left.

Starring and Bonham each drained treys to pull within 12 (50-38) with 12 minutes to play. Oakland didn't see its score change for over four minutes as Marseille and Bonham fired off two free throws to make it an eight-point game.

The Gents forced Oakland into missed opportunities midway through the half as Bonham got Centenary within three (51-48), its closest of the second half. Despite trimming the lead, the Gents allowed Oakland to score seven straight.

Nakwaasah found the bottom of the net from behind the arc, while Marseille continued to stay perfect from the free throw line, hitting two for a five-point deficit (58-53) with a little over five minutes remaining.

The Gents got within three again, but two Oakland three-pointers by Nelson and two free throws quickly gave the Golden Grizzlies a 10-point advantage with 1:00 left. Marseille drove to the bucket and hit a free throw to pull within nine, however Oakland was successful with two freebies to finish.

Centenary shot 32.1 percent (18-56) from the floor and connected on 6-17 from deep for 35.3 percent.

Nakwaasah also was in the scoring column with six, while Trotman had four.

Oakland was slightly better from the field with a 37.1 percent (23-62) shooting performance, while hitting 9-25 (36 percent) from behind the arc.

Nelson led all scorers with a game-high 28 points and 10 rebounds. Keith Benson added 16, while Larry Wright had 10 for Oakland.

The Golden Grizzlies out rebounded Centenary 48-34. Bonham had 10 boards and Marseille finished with eight for the Gents.

"I am really proud of the ways our guys fought. We battled a very strong and dominant team, who had a lot of upper classmen. Our young guys stepped up and played well," said head coach Greg Gary.

Centenary will return to action on Saturday at 3:00 pm (CT) at IPFW.