SHERMAN, Texas - When a team shares the basketball to the tune of an assist on more than 73 percent of its baskets, it has a good shot at winning.
The Gents accomplished just that, tallying assists on 19-of-26 baskets and blocking seven Warriors' shots as Centenary (2-1) beat Hendrix (0-3) 81-70 on the final day of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference/Southern Athletic Association Classic in Sherman, Texas.
Senior Travion Kirkendoll and junior Regis Johnson combined for 12 assists against only two turnovers, while junior Cedric Harris matched a collegiate high 26 points - 21 in the second half alone - in 29 minutes played. Matthews also hit 5-of-8 from downtown and finished with 17 points, grabbing a team best eight boards.
While leading for most of the first half, Centenary fell behind 40-39 at the half. However, they countered with a 21-6 run to begin the second half to regain a double-digit lead. After a stop and a layup from Harris gave the Gents the lead for good, Johnson hit Kirkendoll for a jumper to push the lead to three. Hendrix countered with a layup, but Matthew connected on a three to increase the Maroon and White lead to four. After both teams traded buckets, Harris converted a three-point play while Matthews converted a three the traditional way.
Both teams traded buckets before Harris was fouled shooting a three and Hendrix was assessed a technical to add two more chances from the line. Harris converted 4-of-5 and Centenary led 60-46 with 11:35 left. Hendrix scored the next five, but a three and a pair from the charity stripe for Harris and a tip-in from freshman Jay Reed gave the Gents a 16-point lead, its largest of the season.
While both teams made 26 field goals for the game, Centenary used a 37-34 edge on the boards, 11-7 advantage in three pointers, and an 18-11 lead at the line.
Centenary led by 10 with 6:42 left in the first half, but a 16-4 run gave Hendrix its largest lead of the game. Marcus Hall made a layup, Kam Bransfield made a jumper, and Trey Rouse buried a triple. The Gents led by four when Hall split from the line, Sean Criswell made a layup, and Austin Moore hit a three to give the Warriors a 37-35 lead with 2:36 left in the half. Junior Kahari Carter split from the line and senior Dyllon Weaver hit a three to regain the Gents lead, but Moore hit a three with 53 seconds left as the Gents faced a one-point halftime deficit.
Criswell finished with 17 points and 10 boards for the Warriors, while Hall came off the bench for 15. Bransfield hit 3-of-4 from distance to finish the game with 13.
Centenary returns to action next Saturday, November 25, when it hosts regional rival LeTourneau at the Gold Dome. Tip is scheduled for 3 p.m.