Gents Survive Late-Game Scare; Win 7th Straight
Sunday, January 22, 2012
TYLER, Texas-Senior Maxx Nakwaasah's two made free throws and sophomore Jairus Browning's steal and free throw in the final 10 seconds capped an 85-81 win for the Centenary men's basketball team on Saturday afternoon at UT-Tyler.

The Gents' recorded their 7th straight victory and moved above .500 with an 8-7 record under second-year head coach Adam Walsh.

Centenary was led in scoring by senior Maxx Nakwaasah, who poured in 27 points on a 16-of-17 shooting effort from the free throw line. The 27 points marks the 13th game this season of 20+ points for the Dallas, Texas scoring leader.

Nakwaasah also joined the elite 500-Rebound Club, pulling down a team-best eight boards today to account for 501 total rebounds in his four-year career as a 6'3" power forward. He becomes the 25th player all-time to join this list. He is just five boards away from moving into 22nd place alone.

Also posting great numbers on Saturday was sophomore Jonathan Blount with 23 points on 7-of-11 from the field. He was followed in scoring by freshman JaColby Hardin-Crawford with a career-high 19 points off the bench.

Centenary shot 48 percent (23-48) from the floor, while UT-Tyler was at 46 percent (29-63) on the afternoon. The Gents dominated on the boards, pulling down 37 to UT-Tyler's 28. Nakwaasah, Hardin-Crawford and senior Matt Nichenko each had eight rebounds.

Centenary went up by six (10-4) after the first five minutes of play on six free throws combined between Nakwaasah and Blount. An 8-2 run by the UT-Tyler Patriots followed to tie the game at 12. It remained tied for the seventh time with 6:07 left at 25.

The Patriots put together a 14-6 run to end the half, leading 39-36.

Centenary quickly fell down by 10 to open the final 20 minutes of play, but clawed its way back on a 7-2 run to make it a three-point game (47-44).

A Nakwaasah layup at 10:01 tied the game for the eighth time at 55-55. Hardin-Crawford capped a 6-0 run to put the Gents up by five (62-57) with 6:36 left.

With under three minutes to play, a three by Nakwaasah stretched Centenary's lead to 12 (77-65), but seven unanswered points and then three consecutive treys by UT-Tyler quickly made it an 82-81 game with 9 seconds left.

Forced to foul, Centenary was sent to the line as Nakwaasah sank both free throw attempts. A steal by Browning led to another free throw to close out the game on top by four.

Centenary outscored UT-Tyler, 54 to 42 in the second half.

Centenary will return home to host UT-Dallas on Thursday at 7:30 pm in the Gold Dome.