Freshmen Pace Gents; IPFW Shoots Way to Win
Friday, December 31, 2010
SHREVEPORT-Freshmen Aaron Harwell and Quin Cooper each recorded career-bests in scoring, but IPFW would shoot its way to an 83-51 win over the Centenary men's basketball team on Thursday night in the Gold Dome.

The Gents (0-15, 0-4 Summit), who fell to 0-4 in league play faced a Mastodon (9-4, 4-0 Summit) team that saw leading scorer Ben Botts fire off 30 points on eight made three pointers for a career-best.

Leading the way offensively for Centenary was Harwell who scored 13 points on a 4-of-9 effort from the field, surpassing his previous high of eight points. The guard also knocked down 5-of-8 from the free throw line and tallied a game-high four steals.

Cooper followed in the scoring column for Centenary with 10 points off the bench on a perfect 4-of-4 effort from the floor and 2-of-2 from the charity stripe.

The Gents opened with a strong start, going up by as many as five (14-9) at the 11-minute mark, but IPFW would began chipping away at Centenary's lead. A 20-3 run would end the first half for the Mastodons.

During that run, Centenary was held to just one field goal on sophomore Jeron Trotman's lay up with 5:30 left to play and the Mastodons were 6-of-6 from the free throw line to take a 41-22 lead into the second half.

A quick 15-3 tilt for IPFW gave way to its largest lead of the night at 33 (65-32) midway through the final 20 minutes. The closest Centenary would come in the final minutes would be 28 (75-47) with 3:37 left as Harwell drained both free throw attempts.

The Mastodons shot an impressive 55 percent (16-29) in the second half, which proved too much down the stretch for Centenary to overcome.

Behind Botts' 30 points, IPFW saw Frank Gaines hit 11 and Jason Smeathers and Jeremy Mixon add 10. Oleg Kovalov pulled down a game-high eight boards.  

Centenary finished the night at 35 percent (17-49) from the floor and only connected on two three-pointers in 11 attempts for 18 percent, which both came off the hands of Cooper.

Another struggle for Centenary was the 56 percent (15-27) effort from the free throw line and the overpowering rebounding by IPFW. The Mastodons garnered 42 boards to Centenary's 31.

Behind Harwell and Cooper in scoring for the Gents was junior Maxx Nakwaasah with six. On the boards for Centenary was freshman Jonathan Blount and junior Matt Nichenko each with a career-best five rebounds.

Centenary committed 15 turnovers, while IPFW was two shy at 13.

The Gents wrap up the 2010 calendar year and move into 2011 traveling to the Dakotas. First stop is South Dakota State on Jan. 6 and North Dakota State on Jan. 8. Both start times are 7 pm CT.