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Big Second Half Propels Colonels to 76-66 Win at Berry

Big Second Half Propels Colonels to 76-66 Win at Berry

MOUNT BERRY, Ga. (CentreColonels.com) – Facing a 10-point halftime deficit, the Centre men's basketball team outscored host Berry 46-26 in the second half en route to a 76-66 Southern Athletic Association victory on Friday night at the Cage Center. With the win, the Colonels boost their records to 12-6 on the season and 4-3 in SAA action. The Vikings fall to 7-10 overall and 4-3 in league play.

After Berry scored five straight points to open the second half to take its largest lead of the night of 15 points at 45-30, Centre used a 15-4 run capped by a 3-pointer by freshman guard Carson Ebert (Willard, Ohio) to shrink the Vikings' advantage to 49-45 with 14:35 remaining in the contest.

Berry held a five point edge with just over eight minutes to play, when the Colonels used a 16-4 surge to take a 65-58 lead with 2:44 showing on the game clock. Senior forward Blake Scinta (Louisville, Ky.) tallied six points during the spurt, while junior guard Sam Gruber (LaGrange, Ky.) knocked down a pair of 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions during the run.

The Vikings minimized Centre's lead to six points at 69-63 with just over a minute remaining, but that is as close as Berry would come as the Colonels answered with five unanswered points to gain their largest lead of the night at 74-63 before holding on for the 76-66 victory.

Freshman guard Tucker Sine (Bowling Green, Ky.) matched a career-high with 25 points, connecting on 7-of-12 field goals, 5-of-8 3-pointers and 6-of-8 free throws to go along with five rebounds for the Colonels. Sine is averaging 22.7 points per game in his last three contests.

Scinta scored 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting. He made 1-of-3 attempts from long range and 5-of-8 tries from the charity stripe while grabbing nine boards.

Ebert chipped in 13 markers off the bench for Centre on 4-of-7 shooting, including 3-of-5 makes from behind the arc. He was also 2-of-2 from the free throw line and dished out three assists.

Senior forward Tyler Wesley (Crestwood, Ky.) pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds to go with four blocked shots, while junior guard Matt Gump (Bellefontaine, Ohio) recorded a game-high eight assists for the Colonels.

Freshman guard Jarod Griffin (Lexington, Ky.) and Gruber added eight and six points, respectively, each knocking down a pair of 3-pointers for Centre.

Caleb Johnson led all players with 27 points for the Vikings, followed by Lee McLoud with 13 points and Lukas Korn with 10 markers.

Coleman Ellingsworth paced Berry with eight rebounds and five assists.

The Colonels shot 48.9 percent (23-of-47) in the game, including 61.9 percent (13-of-21) in the second half. In addition, Centre connected on 38.1 (14-of-27) of shots from behind the arc, sinking 72.7 percent (8-of-11) of 3-pointers in the second period. The Colonels were 73.9 percent (17-of-23) at the charity stripe for the game.

The Vikings finished the contest shooting 35.9 percent (23-of-64) from the field, 36.7 percent (11-of-30) from downtown and 64.3 percent (9-of-14) from the free throw line.

Centre outrebounded Berry 36-33 and held advantages of 21-14 in assists and 13-4 in fastbreak points.

The Colonels return to the court on Sunday, Jan. 31 at Oglethorpe at 3 p.m.