Gents Win Overtime Thriller; Record 4th Straight Victory
Sunday, January 15, 2012

SHREVEPORT-The Centenary men's basketball team received a milestone effort from senior Maxx Nakwaasah and a career-best performance from Jonathan Blount to secure a 77-74 thrilling overtime win over Louisiana College in the Gold Dome on Saturday.

With the win, the Gents moved to 5-7 on the year and 5-1 in the Gold Dome. They also recorded their fourth straight victory, which hasn't happened since the 2008-09 season.

Four free throws by Blount in overtime capped a career night for the Shreveport native as he finished with 27 points, surpassing his previous high of 25, which came against Mississippi College four days ago. He finished the afternoon with a double-double, his first of his career, tallying 10 rebounds for Centenary.

Following Blount in scoring was Nakwaasah, whose exciting moment came at the 19:28 mark in the second half when his layup, assisted by Blount, gave him 1,000 career points.

The senior scoring leader totaled 20 on the evening and left the game with 1:03 left in regulation due to fouls. Nakwaasah also recorded his 10th 20+ game this year and 10th career double-double, leading the team with 12 rebounds.

Coming up big for the Gents in overtime was freshman Caden Cheramie, who tallied seven points, four of which, came in the final five minutes. Sophomore Jairus Browning chipped in with eight, while freshman Tyler Wright drained two clutch treys for seven points.

As a team, Centenary shot 39 percent (24-62) from the floor and hit six treys and 23-of-31 for 74 percent from the free throw line. Louisiana College finished the game at 39 percent (27-69) from the field and 14-of-19 from the charity stripe.

The Gents opened the game down 8-0 and even fell down by as many as 11 (18-7) with 12:15 left in the opening half, but they didn't let up the intensity and began chipping away at the Wildcats' lead.

A 17-0 run by Centenary on the backs of Nakwaasah, Blount and Browning gave the Gents their first lead of seven (32-25) with three minutes left.

Centenary continued to pressure and earned a nine-point (39-30) lead at the half.

Louisiana College executed a 9-0 run midway through the second half to trim the deficit to one (45-44), but six unanswered points by Nakwaasah and Blount put them back on top by seven.

Up by 11 (61-50) with 3:18 remaining, the momentum shifted in favor of Louisiana College as it went on a 15-4 run to force overtime, following a game-tying three with 14 seconds left by Wildcat Jarrod Jackson.

In overtime, Centenary dominated on the defensive end and produced at the free throw line. Down by one (74-73) with 1:14 left, Cheramie's layup through the open lane put Centenary back up and Blount was able to sink two final free throws to close out the game.

Centenary committed 20 turnovers and forced Louisiana College into 18 on 10 steals, three by Cheramie.

Centenary returns to play on Monday when it welcomes ETBU to the Gold Dome at 7:30 pm.