Nakwaasah Drops 37 in 98-89 Fall at Concordia (TX)
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas-A 37-point, career-high performance by senior Maxx Nakwaasah wasn't quite enough as the Centenary men's basketball team dropped a 98-89 effort at ASC opponent, Concordia (TX) on Monday evening.

The Gents fell to 0-3 on the year with the loss, while Concordia (TX) improved to 1-2.

Nakwaasah recorded his sixth straight double-figure game, dating back to last season. The Dallas, Texas native hit 9-of-16 from the floor and an astounding 16-of-18 from the free throw line. The 30+ effort was Nakwaasah's second in a row after scoring 34 at UMHB on Saturday.

On trek to become a 1,000 point scorer and 500 rebounder at Centenary, Nakwaasah inched his way closer and now sits 181 Points from 1,000 and 107 rebounds away from those milestones.

Also notching career-bests in just their third career games were freshmen Tyler Wright and Jacolby Hardin-Crawford each with 13 points. Hardin-Crawford finished 7-of-7 from the charity stripe, while Wright drained three treys.

Senior Matt Nichenko and freshman Daniel Allen each contributed with seven points, while sophomore Jairus Browning added six.

It was a back-and-forth battle for most of the first half. Centenary held steady with a lead as Wright buried three early treys for the Gents. After a 7-1 run, Concordia took its first lead at 35-32 with six minutes to play.

Free throws by Hardin-Crawford, Nichenko, and Nakwaasah kept the deficit with reach as the Tornados continued to score and maintained a 41-36 lead with 3:34 left. After five unanswered points by the Gents, Centenary tied the game at 43-43 with just over a minute to play in the opening half.

Nakwaasah's drive to the basket and Hardin-Crawford's two successful free throws put Centenary up by two, but Concordia scored with four seconds remaining to make it a 47-47 game at the half.

Wright had 11 to pace Centenary at the half.

Back-to-back buckets by Nakwaasah gave Centenary an early 55-53 lead after four minutes of play in the second half. Concordia would regain the lead 60-57 on a made consecutive baskets. After a 7-2 run by Concordia to pull ahead by six points, Nakwaasah drained his fourth straight point for the Gents to keep the game in reach.

Concordia jumped out to a 13-point lead (77-64) midway through the half after seven unanswered points. Tornados' Darius Anderson hits back-to-back treys to extend Concordia's lead to 15 after Centenary fought its way back.

Nakwaasah buries a three and hits six charity shots to bring the Gents within six (88-82) with four minutes left to play. Concordia was held without a field goal for longer than four minutes, but late free throws kept them ahead. A Wright layup kept the score under 10 points as Centenary trailed by just six (90-84) with less than four minutes remaining.

With two minutes left, Nakwaasah finds a way to keep Centenary close, draining a three and two more free throws to notch again a new career high. The Gents trailed by four with 1:21 left. Brandon Center hits a jumper, but the Tornados quickly respond with two of their own.

Forced to foul in the final minute of play, Centenary saw Concordia sink several free throws to cap the win.

Centenary finished the evening with a 48 (25-52) percent shooting performance from the field. The Gents knocked down 32-of-42 from the free throw line for 76 percent.

Concordia was better at the line, hitting 32-of-39 for 82 percent.

The Gents out rebounded the Tornados, 34 to 33. Nakwaasah led all players with nine rebounds, one shy of a double-double, while Hardin-Crawford pulled down seven.

Centenary was forced into 26 turnovers and Concordia converted those for 29 points.

Centenary will return to action in the Gold Dome on Thursday when it hosts Texas Lutheran in the 2011-12 home opener at 7:30 pm.