SHREVEPORT, La. – For the second straight year, Gents Basketball needed a win against the Tigers to clinch an SCAC Tournament berth. And for this second straight season, they used a big second half comeback to accomplish this feat.
But this time, at least it did not take two overtimes.
Treylan Matthews kicked off Senior Weekend in a big way with a career high 34 points as Centenary (11-11, 8-5 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference) moved back to .500 for the first time in three months with a 66-62 win against Colorado College (7-16, 3-11 SCAC) in the penultimate home game of the season Friday night, February 8.
Down 49-42, Centenary used a 11-4 run to pull even with 9:31 left in the game. Senior Kaharri Carter made a layup before Matthews picked the Tiger's pocket and went right to the rim for the hoop and harm. He made the free throw as Centenary quickly pulled within a basket. Colorado College answered with a jumper, but freshman Kile Mingo responded with a tough elbow three.
The Tigers added another bucket, but junior Cedric Harris split from the line and a layup by Matthews tied the game at 53.
Matthews eclipsed the 30-point plateau for the first time in his career, finishing with a game high 34 points on 10-for-19 shooting. Mingo chipped in 11.
Tied at 58, a free throw battle broke out as Matthews made 3-of-4 from the charity stipe and Colorado College split. Aaron Acosta made a three to give the visitors a brief 62-61 lead, but Matthews answered with a three to put Centenary up 64-62 with 1:59 left.
Neither team made a field goal in the final two minutes.
With less than a minute remaining, Colorado College's Edmund Pendleton looked as if he would tie the game with a layup, but Harris came with the authoritative block off the backboard. Matthews grabbed the defensive board. Centenary missed the ensuing jumper, but Colorado College missed a three and fouled Carter with eight seconds left. Carter made both free throws, and a final three by the Tigers missed as Centenary completed its fourth-straight win against Colorado College.
Centenary finished the game with six blocks – five in the second half alone.
The Gents led by four early in the game before Matthews made a three. Then, freshman Ty Prince found senior Mitchell Tarantolo cutting to the goal for the dunk. The nine-point lead was Centenary's largest of the contest.
Colorado College answered with a 10-1 run to tie the game at 16. Acosta made a jumper and Martinez made a tip-in while fouled. He made the free throw to cut the lead to four. Centenary split from the line before Martinez made two free throws. A three by Pendleton tied the game. Centenary again split from the line, but a layup by CooXooeii Black gave the visitors their first lead of the game with 9:41 left in the first half.
Black led Colorado College with 17 points, while Acosta came off the bench for 15. The Tigers only led 35-31 on the boards and 8-6 on the offensive glass, but Colorado College kept the game close with a 12-1 edge in second chance points.
The Gents were the second team to clinch a spot in the SCAC Tournament, joining Texas Lutheran. Southwestern and Schreiner, both not playing Friday night, clinched a tournament appearance thanks to Austin College's loss tonight to Johnson & Wales.
Centenary returns to action Saturday, February 9, when it hosts Johnson & Wales for Senior Day. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.