SHREVEPORT, La. – The Ladies scored the first 11 points of the game and used a big run in the second and fourth quarters to give head coach Jason Schmitz his first coaching win as Centenary (1-6) defeated Southeastern Baptist (3-3) 78-45 Sunday afternoon, December 2.
Centenary held Southeastern Baptist scoreless for the first 4:29 and scored the first 11 points. Freshman Priya Ponia, in her first collegiate start, hit a trio of triples and senior Jasmine Morris made a layup.
Ponia scored a career high 16 points – 15 in the first half alone on 5-for-7 shooting and a 4-for-5 mark from behind the arc.
The Ladies led by seven after one and 23-16 early in the second before scoring 13 unanswered, holding the Chargers without a field goal for more than seven minutes. After Centenary hit 3-of-4 from the charity stripe, sophomore Darelzray Bellard hit a triple. Centenary then went 4-for-6 from the line before Ponia capped the run with her final three of the game.
However, Southeastern Baptist scored the final five points of the half as Centenary led 36-21 at the intermission.
The Ladies led 58-40 in the fourth before a 20-2 run pushed the lead to 36 – the largest of the game. After three free throws, senior Deunya Small grabbed a steal and hit sophomore Na'Lani Zeno for the fastbreak layup. Centenary added three more from the charity stripe before Small made a layup while being fouled. She missed the ensuing free throw, but Zeno grabbed the offensive rebound and sophomore Ashlynn Albert made a layup to up the advantage to 78-42.
The Chargers went 3-for-4 from the line for the final margin of the game.
Centenary used a 65-45 edge on the boards in the win. The 65 rebounds are the most for the Ladies in nearly five years. Every Centenary player who got in the game recorded at least one rebound, led by Deunya Small off the bench with 12. Morris barely missed the double-double with 12 points and nine boards.
Southeastern Baptist ended the first and second quarters with five unanswered. In the first, Diamond Williams drained a three and made a fastbreak layup. In the second, NaTanya Wilkerson made a triple and Chryariesm White made a pair of free throws.
Wilkerson led the Chargers with 12 points and a 9-for-10 mark from the line.
Centenary returns to action Saturday afternoon, December 8, for an exhibition at Northwestern State. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.