Gents Secure Win, Sweep IPFW
Monday, February 8, 2010
FORT WAYNE, Ind.-Sophomore Maxx Nakwaasah recorded a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds to propel the Centenary men's basketball team to an 80-78 win over IPFW on Saturday in Summit League action.

The Gents (8-16, 3-10 Summit) swept the Mastodons (11-12, 6-7 Summit) on the season as Centenary snapped a four-game skid with the win. Freshman Daman Starring had 14 points, while sophomore David Perez and freshman Jeron Trotman each had 13 for Centenary.

A slow start led to a 7-2 deficit for the Gents, however a 6-0 run on baskets by freshman Matt Marseille, Perez and senior Jerrald Bonham allowed Centenary to take over the lead at 10-9 with 15:30 to play.

IPFW and Centenary exchanged leads to over a minute as Perez and Marseille each drained treys in the effort to gain a three-point advantage at 16-13. However, an 8-0 run by the Mastodons lead to a five-point tilt.

Starring fired off a three and Trotman hit back-to-back lay ups and a free throw for eight straight points to go up by three (24-21). IPFW followed with nine points after several missed opportunities by the Gents offensively to again, reclaim the lead with its largest lead of the half at six.

Centenary began chipping away at the Mastodons' lead after Nakwaasah sank a three and Bonham laid it up for two. Three treys would ignite a 15-5 run to end the first half for Centenary as Starring, Nakwaasah, and Perez all sank shots from deep.

The Gents were up by 11 until IPFW drained a three at the buzzer to narrow the lead to eight (45-37), heading into halftime.

IPFW opened the second half, holding Centenary scoreless for 2:30 minutes, hitting consecutive lay ups. Bonham got the Gents on board with a shot in the paint, but the Mastodons brought it within one (47-46) on two more lay ups.

Coming off the bench, Trotman fed Nakwaasah in the paint, denying IPFW a lead since the first half. Trotman and Marseille then combined for six points to gain a seven-point lead (55-48) with 12:25 to play.

IPFW, however, wouldn't let up as they put together a 7-2 run to make it a two-point game (57-55) midway through the half. After a Centenary free throw, IPFW tied the game on a three with 7:30 left.

Trotman continued to stay strong underneath, connecting on two more baskets, but another Mastodon three followed. Jumpers by Starring and Maciel, along with another trey from Nakwaasah allowed Centenary to gain a seven-point lead with 4:40 remaining.

A 5-0 run by the Mastodons trimmed the Gents lead to two (69-67), before Maciel and Nakwaasah each drove the lane for two. A Mastodon three and lay up narrowed Centenary's lead to one (75-74) with 1:45 left to play in the game.

Maciel's lay up and free throw gave the Gents a four-point lead with just a minute to play. IPFW had a chance to tie the game with 15 seconds to play, but missed one-of-two from the line, giving the Gents to ball.

Nakwaasah was successful on both free throws with 9.6 seconds to play, extending the lead to three (80-77).

Centenary shot an astounding 60.4 percent (32-53) from the floor and 50 percent (9-18) from the three-point line. Also in scoring for the Gents was Marseille with nine and Maciel with seven.

IPFW shot 48.1 percent (26-54) from the floor, led by Zach Plackemier and Frank Gaines with 15 apiece.

The Gents out rebounded the Mastodons, 29-27.

"It was an overall great effort by our guys. Jeron [Trotman] stepped up and played well and Maxx [Nakwaasah] played great basketball," said head coach Greg Gary.

"I feel like we might know how to finish and win a basketball game now."

Centenary will be back in action on Thursday when it hosts IUPUI at 7:00 pm in the Gold Dome.