Gents See Strong First Half; Battle Marquette in Loss
Saturday, December 18, 2010
MILWAUKEE, Wisc.-The Centenary men's basketball team battled Big East Marquette in front of 14,116 fans to a 81-52 fall in non-conference action on Saturday afternoon.

The Gents (0-12) played a solid opening half, but weren't able to execute from the free throw line when needed. Junior Maxx Nakwaasah led all scorers with 17 points and nearly recorded a double-double, but was two rebounds shy of that feat. Freshman Logan Lowery, off the bench drained two treys for 10 points.

Centenary saw itself down by eight after Marquette opened with eight straight. It took five minutes before the Gents would score its first goal, but Nakwaasah would put Centenary on board with four unanswered points.

The Golden Eagles offense was sharp in the early going as they sparked another 8-0 run to pull ahead 17-4 after Centenary struggled to connect on open looks. Sophomore Leo Davis would end the run on consecutive buckets to make it a 17-8 game with 11 minutes to play.

Lowery fired off his first trey of the game and nailed a jumper, while freshman Aaron Harwell drive to the hoop was good to narrow the score at six (21-15) with just over seven minutes to play in the opening half.

Six straight points would follow by Marquette, but Centenary hung with the Big East squad when Lowery and Nakwaasah combined for five.

The Gents were down 36-24 at half.

Centenary's Harwell drove to the basket to begin the second half, but Marquette would respond to the opening basket with a 12-0 run. For six straight minutes, Centenary would be held scoreless as the home team gained a 51-30 edge over the Gents.

Freshman Andrew Rebol's layup ended the threat at 12:10. The Golden Eagles began to take advantage of the size difference and executed on the boards. Marquette again, tallied nine unanswered points midway through the half to pull ahead convincingly by 24 points (63-39).

Marquette would maintain its lead and go up by as many as 32, the most of the game with just under three minutes left. Centenary would see a three by Davis and a tip-in by sophomore Jeron Trotman to highlight the final three minutes of play.

Centenary shot 37 percent (20-54) from the field and made just 4-of-13 from deep for 31 percent. The Gents struggled significantly from the free throw line, making a mere 8-of-23 for a season-low 35 percent.

Behind Nakwaasah and Lowery in scoring for the Gents was Davis with nine points and six assists and Harwell with six points and five steals.

Marquette shot 46 percent (31-67) from the field and made 14-of-22 for 64 percent from the free throw line. The Golden Eagles were led by Vander Blue and Darius Johnson-Odom each with 16 points, while Jimmy Butler added a double-double with 10 points and 12 boards.

Centenary was out rebounded, 51-29. Nakwaasah led the Gents with eight rebounds.

The Gents held its turnover total to just 17 and led with 11 steals on the contest.

Centenary will return to action on Monday at Wyoming with an 8 pm CT tip-off.