Offensive Struggles Send Gents Home with 79-56 Fall to UTM
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
MARTIN, Tenn.-Senior Roman Tubner and sophomore Jeron Trotman each scored in double-figures, while junior Maxx Nakwaasah pulled down a career-best 12 boards, but it wasn't enough as the Centenary men's basketball team dropped its second straight game of the Global Sports Challenge on the road, falling 79-56 to Tennessee-Martin on Monday night.

The Gents (0-2) ran into late offensive struggles, netting just one field goal in the final 14 minutes, allowing UTM (2-0) to gain the upper hand late and secure the win.

Tubner paced the offense with 13 points and four assists, while Trotman netted 11 on a 5-for-10 effort from the field.

Behind Nakwaasah in rebounds was Trotman, who was two shy of reaching his first double-double with eight boards.

Nakwaasah put Centenary on board and ahead, 3-0 at the 18:54 mark. It didn't take the Skyhawks long to respond as they managed to go on an early 9-0 run to go up 9-3 with 16:30 to play.

Trotman halted the offensive run with his first basket of the night, a three from deep to bring Centenary back within three. A fast break layup by sophomore Travis Sims would follow to make it a 9-8 game.

The Gents were able to connect on four consecutive free throws from freshman Quin Cooper and Sims to put Centenary back on top 12-11 with 14 minutes left in the opening half.

Despite a quick UTM lay up, freshman Logan Lowery was able to drain a three off the hands of Tubner to regain a 15-13 advantage. Centenary would use a successful lay up by Lowery at 11:15, but would then fall victim to an offensive splurge by the Skyhawks as they produced an 11-0 run to earn their largest lead of the half at 28-17 at the 8:02 mark.

Regrouped, the Gents fought back to make it a four-point game (28-24) after a three by sophomore Leo Davis and back-to-back lay ups from Trotman.

In the final three minutes of play in the first half, Centenary got free throws from Cooper, Nakwaasah, and Tubner along with a lay up from freshman Jonathan Blount to narrow the deficit to six (36-30) heading into the second half.

The second half opened with a turnover which led to a UTM free throw. A lay up would then follow for the Skyhawks giving them a quick nine-point lead.

Centenary would use five points from Tubner, a three from Davis and four points inside from Trotman to spark a 12-7 run and quickly narrow the deficit to four at 46-42 with 15 minutes left in the contest.

Two fouls and two turnovers by the Gents would allow UTM's Reuben Clayton and Terence Smith to net two free throws and connect on a lay up to put the Skyhawks back ahead by ten (52-42). Tubner would respond with yet another long ball, his second of the game.

Centenary ran into an unusual offensive drought much of the second half, as Sims' lay up with seven seconds to go was the only field goal made by the Gents in the final 14 minutes of play. During that time, the Skyhawks would continue to increase their lead to as high as 25 with 1:11 left in the game.

The Gents shot 33 percent (16-48) from the floor, but were tested by the Skyhawks, who fired off a game-best 48 percent (27-56). Centenary struggled for the second straight game from the free throw line, connecting on just 17-of-32 for 53 percent.

Undersized, Centenary was out rebounded 47-32.

Behind Tubner and Trotman in scoring was Nakwaasah with eight points, Davis with seven, and Sims with six, while Tubner tied his career-high with six boards.

Leading the way for UTM was Clayton with a game-best 23 points, while Mike Liabo added 16.

Centenary will return home for its home opener on Wednesday as the Gents tip off at 7 pm against Arkansas-Monticello in the Gold Dome. Live stats are available on www.GoCentenary.com.