SHREVEPORT, La. - The Gents cut a 14-point deficit in the first down to one at half, and overcame a seven-point hole in the second half, but the YellowJackets hit a three with seven seconds left in a tied ballgame for the win as Centenary (2-2) came up short against LeTourneau (3-1) 77-74 Saturday afternoon, November 25.
Trailing 48-41 with 14:56 left, the Gents went on a 10-2 run to take the lead. Senior Travion Kirkendoll grabbed the offensive rebound and made the layup while being fouled. He hit the free throw to cut the deficit to four. Next, Kirkendoll poked the ball free on defense and hit junior Kaharri Carter for the fast break hoop. Alec Colhoff answered with his own fastbreak hoop for LeTourneau, but Kirkendoll came right back with a jumper. Centenary made a defensive stand before freshman James Helzer hit classmate Raylon Hardy for the hoop and the harm. He made the free throw to put Centenary up 51-50 with 13:10 left.
Kirkendoll finished with a game-best 28 points while sophomore Cedric Harris contributed 14 points and eight boards. Carter came off the bench for 12 points and junior Treylan Matthews scored 11 points and contributed five assists.
Tied at 65, Matthews made a layup and Kirkendoll hit a three to give the Gents a five-point lead with 3:07 left. LeTourneau answered with eight unanswered, starting with a Nate West three and a Justin Moore layup to tie the game at 70. An old-fashioned three by West capped the spurt with 1:47 left.
Helzer responded with layup to cut the deficit to one, and after a Centenary stop, Matthews was fouled on an offensive rebound. With the one-and-one opportunity, Matthews hit both free throws to put the Maroon and White up 74-73 with 55 ticks left.
After LeTourneau split from the line, the visitors forced a steal and Christian Seidl hit a three with seven seconds left. Hardy missed a potential game-tying three as time expired as LeTourneau held on for the win.
Justin Moore led LeTourneau with 24 points, while West added 15.
Centenary trailed by as much as 14 in the first half and 30-17 with 4:17 left until intermission, but a 16-4 run cut the deficit to one. Harris made a jumper and Carter grabbed a steal and made the layup to cut the deficit to single digits. Matthews followed with a defensive rebound and went to the bucket for a missed layup, but Carter grabbed the offensive board and made the putback to cut the deficit to seven. LeTourneau followed with a turnover, and Harris made a jumper in the paint to cap the 8-0 run in 1:17.
LeTourneau answered with a jumper, but triples by Carter and Kirkendoll around a free throw by the visitors brought the deficit to one possession. LeTourneau split from the line again, but a Harris jumper with 1:15 left - the final points of the first half - cut the YellowJackets lead to 34-33 into the lockerroom.
Centenary returns to action Monday, November 27, when it takes on Pelican State-rival Louisiana College at 7 p.m. However, the game has been moved to the campus of Northwestern State in Natchitoches.