PREVIEW: Mid-Week Showdown at ORU
Monday, February 15, 2010
Centenary will meet Oral Roberts on Tuesday for a 7:05 pm contest in Tulsa, Okla.

SHREVEPORT-Freshman Daman Starring scored a team-best 20 points for Centenary, but it proved to be not enough as Western Illinois escaped a close game, dropping the Gents 64-55 on Saturday evening in Summit League play.

The Gents (8-18, 3-12 Summit) were faced with a sharp-shooting Fighting Leathernecks (11-14, 4-10 Summit) team as they fell in their final home game of the season. Behind Starring in scoring for Centenary was senior Jerrald Bonham with 14, who was honored as Centenary's lone senior during pregame ceremonies and freshman Pedro Maciel with 10.

Offensively, the Gents are scoring 71.7 ppg, but are allowing 80.4 ppg from their opposition. Centenary is shooting 41 percent (619-1494) from the floor and averaging 8.0 three-pointers a game. The team is dishing off 13.2 assists per game. Perez is leading the Gents with 15.4 ppg and 87-103 (.845) from the free throw line, while freshman Daman Starring contributes with 11.6 ppg.

Defensively, the Gents are holding their opponents to just 6.7 three-pointers made a game. On the boards, the opposition out rebounds Centenary, 38.7 to 30.5. Starring and Tubner lead the Gents with 42 and 39 steals respectively, while senior Jerrald Bonham paces Centenary with 5.0 rebounds a contest and 20 total blocks.

Freshman Pedro Maciel has continued to improve as one of Centenary's top guards in his rookie season. He now leads the team with 70 assists with his best performance coming in an 11-assist effort against Southwestern Assemblies of God on Jan. 19.

Centenary is 0-12 on the season when it scores less than 70 points in a game. The Gents average 71.7 ppg. They are 3-3 when they reach between 70-79 points, 1-2 at 80-89 and 4-1 when over 90 points. Four of the last six losses, Centenary hasn't reached the 70-point mark, including its latest 55-64 loss to Western Illinois.

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 is now tied for seventh place on the all-time block list after recording one block against Western Illinois on February 13. He currently has 60 blocks. The Plano, Texas native is coming off a 17-block season just last year and has totaled 20 blocks already this season. He is now striving to catch Fred McNealey at 67 for sixth place.

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).

Oral Roberts holds an overall record of 15-12 and 10-5 in league play. The Golden Eagles snapped a two-game skid with a one-point win (61-60) against IUPUI on Saturday. ORU is 9-3 in the Mabee Center this season and looks for the season sweep over Centenary on Tuesday.

The Golden Eagles pour in 68.3 ppg and pulls down 38.3 boards a contest. They are led by four players in double figures. Dominique Morrison paces ORU with 15.3 ppg, while Michael Craion adds 12.6 ppg. Warren Niles chipps in with 12.3 and Kevin Ford contributes 11.4 and has a team-best 7.7 rebounds a game.

Centenary and Oral Roberts will meet for the 16th time since they first squared off in 2004. The Golden Eagles own a 14-1 record against the Gents during that time. They last met earlier this season when ORU took an 87-56 win over Centenary in the Gold Dome. In that game, Daman Starring led all scorers with 19 points. For ORU, Warren Niles had 17.

After meeting Oral Roberts on Tuesday, the Gents will receive an off weekend before returning to play in its last road series, beginning on Feb. 25 at UMKC at 7:05 pm.