Late Free Throws Drop Gents at HSU
Friday, December 9, 2011
ABILENE, Texas-Late free throws by Hardin-Simmons propelled the undefeated Cowboys to an 85-75 win over the Centenary men's basketball team on Thursday evening on the road.

The Gents fell to 1-5 on the year with the loss, while Hardin-Simmons improved to 6-0.

Senior Maxx Nakwaasah produced yet another 20+ game, firing off 25 points on 9-of-13 from the free throw line to lead the Gents in scoring.

Sophomore transfer Jairus Browning showcased his best performance yet as a Gent, contributing offensively with 12 points on 4-of-6 from deep.

Also scoring for Centenary was freshman Tyler Wright with nine points, freshmen Caden Cheramie and Daniel Allen with seven points each, sophomore Brandon Center with six and freshman JaColby Hardin-Crawford with five.

Browning drained a three and Cheramie sank a layup to put Centenary on top 5-0 after just two minutes of play.

However, Hardin-Simmons used seven straight points on four free throws allowed the home team to take a lead.

A 12-0 run midway through the first half gave Hardin-Simmons a 27-14 lead. Centenary later saw itself down by 21 points, but Nakwaasah and Wright hit consecutive treys to make it a 48-33 game at the half.

Hardin-Crawford and Nakwaasah fired off early second-half three-pointers to narrow the deficit to nine (48-39). An 11-2 run by Centenary provides some spark, trimming Hardin-Simmons' lead to five (57-52) with 12 minutes remaining in the game.

Five quick points by the Cowboys allowed them to again, go up by 10. Centenary responded with six made free throws by Nakwaasah and consecutive treys by Cheramie and Browning to put a scare on Hardin-Simmons, narrowing the score to two points (68-66) with six minutes left.

It came down to late-game free throws and Hardin-Simmons executed with 13 points down the stretch for the win.

Centenary shot 44 percent (24-54) from the floor and an impressive 52 percent (12-23) from deep. The Gents also made 15-of-19 from the free throw line for a 79 percent effort.

Centenary out rebounded Hardin-Simmons, 41-37, led by Browning with nine rebounds and Nakwaasah with eight.

With Nakwaasah's 25 points and eight rebounds, the Dallas, Texas native moves 140 points shy of 1,000 career points and 76 rebounds shy of the 500-rebound club.

Centenary will return to action on Saturday at 3 pm across town at McMurry.