Three Freshmen Pace Gents in Loss at Oakland
Sunday, January 30, 2011
ROCHESTER, Mich.-While freshmen Jonathan Blount and Logan Lowery each poured in 12 points and classmate Andrew Rebol added 10, the Centenary men's basketball saw a hard-fought first-half effort slip away in the final half, as it dropped a 100-70 contest to league-leading Oakland on Saturday evening.

The Gents (0-23, 0-11 Summit) held their own against the Golden Grizzlies in first half, as they were down by just two in the late minutes, however a dominant final stanza by Oakland put the game out of reach for Centenary.

Centenary got its hottest start of any game this season against league-leader Oakland, producing six unanswered points in the first two minutes of play. Leading 6-0, the Golden Grizzlies' first field goal came at the 18:25 mark.

The Gents held onto a 10-9 lead for the initial five minutes, but Oakland would drain a three that continued a 10-0 run for the Golden Grizzlies. Rebol sank his fourth free throw of the contest to end the run.

Battling for much of the half, Centenary would get a jumper from freshman Leo Davis that pulled the Gents within two (20-18), but Oakland would use its size advantage and pull ahead 27-18 on seven straight points.

With just over six minutes remaining in the first half, junior Maxx Nakwaasah would drain consecutive treys to spark an 11-6 tilt for Centenary to pull within four (33-29). Blount's lay up followed to make it a one-possession game.

Two Oakland free throws and a fast break lay up would allow the Golden Grizzlies to go ahead by six (39-33). However, sophomore Travis Sims' three with 1:22 left created some scare. Oakland would finish the half with five points in the final 30 seconds to take a 44-36 lead into the final 20 minutes.

Oakland opened with six straight points all in the first minute of play. The quick scoring by the Golden Grizzlies continued as they produced a 16-5 run to go ahead, 61-43.

Lowery continued to score for Centenary, as he hit his seventh point on a three with 14 minutes remaining. Turnovers began to haunt the Gents down the stretch as Oakland executed a 17-2 mid-half run on several Centenary miscues. Freshman Aaron Harwell's jumper at 9:49 ended the long stretch without a field goal, but Oakland had gained an 82-50 lead.

Oakland continued to hold a manageable lead for the final minutes of play in the game. Centenary's Lowery and Harwell had back-to-back jumpers, but the Golden Grizzlies would match the scoring effort of the Gents as they remained on top 93-62 with under three minutes to play.

Centenary shot a season-high 50 percent (27-54) from the floor and hit 5-of-12 for 42 percent behind the three-point line. Behind the three freshmen in scoring was Nakwaasah and Harwell with nine each, Sims with seven and freshman Quin Cooper with six.

Harwell added a team-best six assists, while Rebol recorded four steals.

Oakland used its size and strength to muster up a 58 percent (39-62) performance from the field. Preseason Player of the Year Keith Benson scored a game-best 30 points.

The Gents were out rebounded by just five, 33 to 28. Blount and Sims each had five boards for Centenary.

Oakland forced Centenary into 26 turnovers on 16 steals, which led to 30 points for the Golden Grizzlies.

The Gents will return to Shreveport to prepare for North Dakota State on Thursday evening at 7 pm in the Gold Dome.