PREVIEW: Gents Wrap Up Home Slate with Western Illinois
Friday, February 12, 2010

The Centenary men's basketball team will wrap up its 2009-10 home schedule with Western Illinois on Saturday at 7:30 pm in the Gold Dome. Senior Jerrald Bonham will be honored during pregame ceremonies on Saturday.

Lone Gents senior Jerrald Bonham will play in his last home basketball game this Saturday in the Gold Dome and will be recognized prior to the 7:30 pm start time. As a Texas native, he will graduate this May with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication with an emphasis on New Media. Bonham currently is the only current player in the record books as he etched his name in the top 10 for career blocks earlier this season with 59.

SHREVEPORT-Despite an impressive and strong second-half run by the Centenary men's basketball team, IUPUI proved to be a little too solid inside, as the Gents fell 88-77 to the Jaguars on Thursday evening in Summit League action.

The Gents (8-17, 3-11 Summit) had five players reach double-figures, led by sophomore David Perez with 16 points, all of which came in the second half. Freshman Matt Marseille and sophomore Maxx Nakwaasah each chipped in with 13, while freshmen Daman Starring and Jeron Trotman added 12 to the mix.

Offensively, the Gents are scoring 72.4 ppg, but are allowing 81.1 ppg from their opposition. Centenary is shooting 42 percent (605-1439) from the floor and averaging 8.1 three-pointers a game. The team is dishing off 13.4 assists per game. Perez is leading the Gents with 15.9 ppg and 85-101 (.842) from the free throw line, while freshman Daman Starring contributes with 11.2 ppg.

Defensively, the Gents are holding their opponents to just 6.9 three-pointers made a game. On the boards, the opposition out rebounds Centenary, 39.0 to 30.4. Starring and Tubner lead the Gents with 40 and 38 steals respectively, while senior Jerrald Bonham paces Centenary with 4.8 rebounds a contest and 19 total blocks.

Despite ranking near the bottom of league rankings in rebounds, the Gents pulled down 27 boards against IUPUI on Thursday. The Jaguars scored 42 points in the paint, but Centenary executed 12 offensive rebounds to IUPUI's four.

Sophomore Maxx Nakwaasah narrowly missed his second consecutive double-double on Thursday with a 13-point, nine rebound performance. He recorded his second-career double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds in the win at IPFW on Feb. 6, leading four players in double-figure scoring.

Centenary earned its first league road win on Saturday at IPFW as the Gents escaped an 80-78 win over the Mastodons. Prior to that game, Centenary was 0-5 away from home against Summit League opponents and 3-8 on the road overall.

Centenary earned its first sweep of any team since Head Coach Greg Gary took over the program last season in an 80-78 win at IPFW. The Gents defeated the Mastodons 75-62 in the Gold Dome back on Jan. 7 of this year. The all-time series still rests in the hands of IPFW at 5-3 since they first met in 2003. The last sweep by Centenary came in 2007-08 in two wins over South Dakota State.

Bonham secured ninth place on the all-time block list in the double-overtime loss to Louisiana Tech on Dec. 12. He currently has 59 blocks. The Plano, Texas native is coming off a 17-block season just last year and has totaled 19 blocks already this season. He is now striving to catch Lincoln Abrams and George Lett with 60 all-time.

Despite a first half scare against Oral Roberts on January 23, 2010, producing an 0-6 effort from the 3-PT line, Centenary finished the game, knocking down 6-of-21 for 29 percent. The Gents continue to lead the league from behind the arc, hitting 8.1 three-pointers a game in front of SDSU with 7.2 a game. Again, Centenary has drained at least three long balls a game with its most impressive performance coming in a double-overtime loss against Louisiana Tech where they were 20-of-29 for 69 percent and its most recent of six at Oakland on Saturday.

With their strong offensive scoring habits in the Gold Dome, it wasn't too much of a surprise when the Gents reached the century mark on Tuesday. Winning 108-65, Centenary was put over the 100-point mark on a rebound and a put back from junior transfer Matt Nichenko, who saw action in his first game since the start of the season. The 108 point total was a season-best as the Gents reached 96 in a double-overtime loss to Louisiana Tech (12/12/09).

Western Illinois is coming off a huge 64-62 win at Oral Roberts on Thursday, snapping a three-game league skid. The Fighting Leathernecks are 10-14 overall and 3-10 in league play.

As a team, Western Illinois is averaging 58.3 ppg and pulling down 32.4 rebounds a contest. Ceola Clark continues to pace the squad with 13.9 ppg as the only player reaching double-figures on the season. James Granger has a team-best 5.4 boards a game.

Western Illinois will meet Centenary for the 15th time in history on Saturday, dating back to 1959. The Fighting Leathernecks own the series at 8-6 and recorded a 70-51 win earlier this season over the Gents in Macomb, Ill. on January 14. In that game, David Perez led all scorers with 18 points, while Daman Starring added 17. For Western Illinois, Ceola Clark led four double-digit players with 17 points.

Following this weekend's last home game, Centenary will travel to play Oral Roberts on Tuesday at 7:05 pm.