26 Conference Titles | 16 NCAA Tournament Appearances | 11 All-Americans | Two Rhodes Scholars | Two Final Fours
Colonels Topped by Maryville 74-70 in Season Opener
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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (CentreColonels.com) – The Centre men's basketball team dropped a 74-70 decision to host Maryville (Tenn.) in the 2016-17 season opener on Wednesday night at Baird Gym. Five Colonel freshmen combined for 49 points in the contest highlighted by guard Perry Ayers' (Bowling Green, Ky.) game-high 17 points.
With the Scots holding a 15-14 first half lead, Centre used a 15-3 run keyed by four points apiece by freshmen forwards Jacob Bates (LaGrange, Ky.) and Jakob Spitzer (Atlanta, Ga.) to give the Colonels their largest advantage of the night at 29-18 with 6:37 showing on the clock.
Maryville responded with 14 straight points, gaining a 32-29 lead with just under two minutes remaining before taking a 36-32 advantage into the locker room.
Centre would open the second half with an 8-2 surge capped by a 3-pointer by senior guard Sam Gruber (LaGrange, Ky.) to regain the lead at 40-38 at the 16:46 mark of the second half.
The Colonels held a 55-54 advantage with just under eight minutes to play in the game when the Scots went on a 15-6 run to build their largest lead of the game at 69-61 with 2:50 remaining in the game.
Sophomore guard Tucker Sine (Bowling Green, Ky.) made a pair of 3-pointers on Centre's next two trips down the floor to cut the Maryville lead to just four points at 71-67 with 1:27 to play.
After Jay Bowyer would make 1-of-2 free throw attempts for the Scots, freshman guard Bailey Rakes (Mt. Washington, Ky.) knocked down another 3-pointer for the Colonels to shrink the Maryville advantage to 72-70 with 14 seconds to go.
Unfortunately for Centre, the Colonels' late rally would fall just short as Bowyers made two free throws on the other end to seal the win for the Scots.
Ayers was 6-of-11 from the field and 5-of-7 from the charity stripe to go with three rebounds in his debut in Centre.
Sine tallied 12 points, connecting on 4-of-9 field goals, 2-of-4 shots from downtown and 2-of-2 free throws to go with a game-high eight rebounds.
Bates chipped in 10 markers off the bench on 4-of-10 shooting with seven boards and a game-high four steals, while Rakes contributed nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from behind the arc.
Spitzer added eight points on a perfect 4-of-4 from the floor.
Bowyer led four Scots in double-figures with 15 points, followed by Emanuelle Garcia with 12, Cailvin Songster with 11 and Chris Watson with 10 points and a team-high seven boards off the bench.
The Colonels shot 42.6 percent (26-of-61) from the field, including a 38.1 percent (8-of-21) pace from behind the arc. Centre was 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from the line.
Maryville edged Centre on the glass 40-39, but the Colonels held advantages of 20-12 in points off turnovers, 28-22 in points in the paint and 28-21 in points in the paint.
The Colonels open the home portion of the 2016-17 schedule on Monday night at 7:30 p.m. against local rival Transylvania at Alumni Gymnasium. Centre has won four consecutive games against the Pioneers.