Gents Face Sharp-Scoring War Hawks in 10-Point Loss
Saturday, December 10, 2011
ABILENE, Texas-Despite shooting quite well and scoring 88 points, the Centenary men's basketball team faced a sharp-shooting McMurry squad in a 98-88 loss on the road on Saturday afternoon.

The Gents fell to 1-6 on the year, while McMurry improved to 7-1.

Several freshmen recorded career-highs offensively, while senior Maxx Nakwaasah again, put up his sixth 20+ game, leading all scorers with 26 points on 14-of-15 from the free throw line.

Posting career numbers and scoring double-figures behind Nakwaasah for the Gents was freshmen JaColby Hardin-Crawford with 17 points, Caden Cheramie with 15 points, Tyler Wright with 14 points and sophomore Brandon Center with 10 points.

Centenary shot 42 percent (26-62) from the floor and knocked down nine three-pointers, four of which came off the fingers of freshman Wright off the bench. Centenary was also impressive from the free throw line, posting an 87 percent mark (27-31), led by Nakwwasah's 14-of-15 and Cheramie's 6-of-6.

The 88 total points was one shy of the team's season-high of 89, which came at Concordia last month. McMurry fired off a 57 percent (36-63) effort and also hit nine treys.

Center put Centenary up 10-9 following a jumper and a three-pointer after five minutes of play, but McMurry responded with eight unanswered points to grab a 14-7 lead.

Made free throws by the Gents kept the score within reach,
but the War Hawks continued to bounced back with more made under-pressure shots. Down by three, Wright sank a three to tie the game at 23-23 with 7:55 to play.

McMurry pulled ahead by six with 4:30 left, but Nakwaasah and Cheramie kept the score close. Nakwaasah hit five straight, while Hardin-Crawford's jumper gave the Gents their first lead in over 15 minutes at 37-36 with 2:00 left in the opening half.

The War Hawks ended the half with consecutive treys to go up 42-37 at the half.

McMurry continued their run into the final 20 minutes with 10 straight points. Hardin-Crawford and Nakwaasah combined for the first 11 points for Centenary during that time.

Down 58-58 with 14 minutes remaining, Center drained another three, but a 14-3 run by McMurry midway extended its lead to 72-54.

Centenary maintained a balanced scoring attack in the final 10 minutes of play, but McMurry was just as consistent. Cheramie's three with four minutes left made it an 82-75 game. Despite an impressive second half effort by Hardin-Crawford, Nakwwasah and company, the Gents weren't ever able to match McMurry's hot shooting.

McMurry's Steven Jones posted a double-double of 23 points and 15 rebounds.

Centenary was out rebounded 48 to 22. The Gents were led by Nakwaasah and senior Matt Nichenko with four rebounds each.

Centenary will return to play on Saturday, December 17 at 3 pm in Marshall, Texas against ETBU.