PREVIEW: Gents Play Final Game
Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Centenary men's basketball team will play its final game of the season on the road at Southern Utah on Saturday for an 8:30 pm (ct) game.

KANSAS CITY, Mo.-All five starters reach double-figures for the Centenary men's basketball team, however it wasn't enough as UMKC took an 83-69 win over the Gents on Thursday evening in Summit League action.

The Gents (8-20, 3-14) were led offensively by freshman Daman Starring with 14 points, while classmate Pedro Maciel added 13. Senior Jerrald Bonham chipped in with 12, while sophomores David Perez and Maxx Nakwaasah had 10 apiece.

Offensively, the Gents are scoring 71.0 ppg, but are allowing 80.4 ppg from their opposition. Centenary is shooting 41 percent (660-1604) from the floor and averaging 7.9 three-pointers a game. The team is dishing off 13.2 assists per game. Perez is leading the Gents with 14.8 ppg and 92-109 (.844) from the free throw line, while freshman Daman Starring contributes with 11.7 ppg.

Defensively, the Gents are holding their opponents to just 6.6 three-pointers made a game. On the boards, the opposition out rebounds Centenary, 38.8 to 30.4. Starring and Tubner lead the Gents with 45 and 41 steals respectively, while senior Jerrald Bonham paces Centenary with 4.9 rebounds a contest and 21 total blocks.

Despite falling in its contest at UMKC on Thursday, Centenary had all five starters reach double-figure scoring in the game. That scoring effort was the first all season that all five initial starters hit double-digits. They combined to score 59 of the team's 69 points as Matt Marseille (6), Roman Tubner (2) and Jeron Trotman (2) each chipped in.

In just his second season as Centenary's head coach, Greg Gary will coach his final game in hopes of surpassing his initial season's win total of eight. Currently, the Gents have eight wins and with one more, Centenary would have provided Gary with more wins than last season at 8 (8-23 overall).

Freshman Pedro Maciel has continued to improve as one of Centenary's top guards in his rookie season. He now leads the team with 80 assists with his best performance coming in an 11-assist effort against Southwestern Assemblies of God on Jan. 19.

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 61 blocks. The Plano, Texas native is coming off a 17-block season just last year and has totaled 21 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 7.9 three-pointers a game in front of IPFW 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 five on Thursday.

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).

Southern Utah meets Centenary with an overall record of 6-22 and a 2-15 mark in league play. The Thunderbirds are looking to snap their seven-game skid as they most recently dropped an 85-65 contest against Oral Roberts on Thursday.

Southern Utah, as a team, is averaging 64.0 ppg and 35.0 boards a contest. Davis Baker paces the Thunderbirds with 16.4 ppg and 5.1 rebounds.

Southern Utah and Centenary will play each other for the 14th time since they first met during the 2004 season. The Thunderbirds have a slight 7-6 edge over the Gents, but Centenary did capture the first game of the series earlier this season on Dec. 3 in a 93-85 overtime win in the Gold Dome. In that game, Southern Utah's Davis Baker led all scorers with 34 points, while Centenary's Roman Tubner tallied a career-best 30 points.