COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Gents held a lead as large as 10 in the first half, but the Mountaineers took their own 10-point lead in the second period as Centenary (15-11) fell to Schreiner (15-11) 77-73 in the final of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Sunday afternoon, February 25.
With 9:53 left in the first half, senior Travion Kirkendoll hit a jumper for his ninth point of the game to put the Gents up 19-12. The four-time All-Conference guard finished the game with 33 points and his collegiate career with 1,919, breaking the 13-year old record set by Russ Churchwell of Oglethorpe (1,894 points, 2000-2005). His 576 points this season currently ranks fourth while his 22.2 points per game ranks fifth in the single-season record books.
Later in the first half, freshman Neil Hawkins later added a pair of free throws to put Centenary on top 30-20, but nine unanswered by the Mountaineers in a two-minute span cut the lead to one. Centenary held a 32-31 advantage before a deep three from sophomore Cedric Harris expanded the lead to four at the intermission.
Down by double-digits in the second half and 69-62 with 54 seconds left in the game, a 10-4 Centenary run cut the deficit to one. Harris hit a three at the top of the arc before Schreiner split from the charity stripe. Kirkendoll sunk a pair from the line before Schreiner again split from the line. Kirkendoll then buried a three to cut the deficit to one with eight ticks left, but the Mountaineers hit a pair from the line and committed a foul on the floor to prevent a Centenary three.
Kirkendoll sunk the first and intentionally missed the second, but it went out of bounds. Schreiner iced the game with two makes from the line to complete the four-point win.
Kirkendoll led all scorers with 33 points while Harris secured his second double-double in as many nights with 15 points and 10 boards.
Schreiner trailed 30-20 with 3:48 left in the first half, but a 9-0 spurt brought the Mountaineers within one. Matthew Rindahl buried a three and hit a fastbreak lay-up to cut the Centenary lead in half. After a Gents offensive foul, Paul Wells grabbed an offensive board and made the putback to make it a one-possession game. Andrew Logan then made a pair from the charity stripe, but sophomore Jericho Gray canned a jumper for Centenary.
Keenen Gumbs, who led Schreiner with 25 points on the night, made a pair of free throws to cut the Centenary lead to 32-31. However, Harris beat the buzzer from downtown to put the Maroon and White up four at halftime.
While shooting percentages were near even for the game, Schreiner used a 53.3 percent (16-for-30) to 37.5 percent (9-for-24) edge in the second half to rally for the win. The Mountaineers also held a hefty advantage in the paint, 44-10.
After the game, Kirkendoll and Harris were named to the All-Tournament squad.
Already leading Centenary in career scoring in the NCAA Division III era, Kirkendoll's 33 points in the Championship game moved him up to second in the Gents single-season record book for NCAA Division III scoring.