Gents Notch Second Straight Win in 90-64 Win over HPU
Sunday, January 8, 2012
SHREVEPORT-Senior Maxx Nakwaasah posted his eighth career double-double and second this season on a 29-point, 11-rebound effort to guide the Centenary men's basketball team to its second straight victory in a 90-64 win over Howard Payne on Saturday afternoon in the Gold Dome.

With the win, Centenary improved to 3-7 overall, while Howard Payne fell to 6-7. The last time the Gents posted back-to-back wins was in 2009 with wins over Texas College and ULM in the Gold Dome.

The 26-point margin victory over Howard Payne was the largest since dating back to an 86-44 win over Southern Utah in the Gold Dome during the 2003-04 season.

Nakwaasah's 29 points was eight points shy of his career-best of 37, but moves him just 41 total points away from reaching the 1,000-point milestone of his career.

Following Nakwaasah in scoring was freshman Caden Cheramie's 11-point performance off the bench. The guard also led all players with five steals. Also off the bench and scoring 10 points was freshman Daniel Allen .

Sophomore Brandon Center added nine points, while sophomore Jairus Browning and freshman JaColby Hardin-Crawford each contributed with six.

The Gents shot an impressive 50 percent (32-64) from the floor and knocked down nine treys for 43 percent.

Centenary also produced its second straight 70+ percent shooting effort from the free throw line, hitting 17-of-24.

Centenary out rebounded Howard Payne, 43 to 35, led by Nakwaasah with 11, followed by Center with five.

Centenary never trailed in the opening half and led by as many as nine (26-17) with 6:09 left. Nakwaasah opened the game scoring Centenary's first 10 points to put the Gents up 10-3 after just five minutes of play.

Howard Payne pulled within two (16-14) after four straight points, but Cheramie, off the bench, provided the Gents with some mid-half spark. The freshman scored six straight for the Gents.

Centenary continued to stay composed on offense for the final minute of the first half. Center's trey, followed by a three-point play by Nakwaasah pushed the lead to nine (32-23). The Gents led at the half, 36-27, following free throws by Cheramie and a layup by Howard Payne.

Despite seeing the score trim to just a four-point (39-35) lead, Centenary never stopped its offensive prowess as a 15-2 run followed. Contributing to the run was Allen, who scored five straight for the Gents following two steals.

A tip-in by senior Matt Nichenko and a three by Allen put Centenary up by 20 (60-40) for the first time at the 9:13 mark. Nakwaasah contributed from the charity stripe and scored seven straight for the Gents following that lead.

Browning sank a three at 5:21 to put Centenary on top by 24 (73-49) and later hit another trey to put the Gents up by 25 (84-59) with 1:54 left, which followed several made free throws by Howard Payne. Off the bench in the final minute of play, freshmen Pierson Rivera and Hayward
Martin scored the final six points for Centenary.
Howard Payne was led by Joshua Dada with 18 points.

Centenary forced the Yellow Jackets into 23 turnovers and scored 29 points off those miscues.

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Centenary will return to the Gold Dome on Thursday, Jan. 12 at 7:30 pm when it hosts Mississippi College.