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Colonels Suffer 87-77 Setback to Visiting Spalding

Colonels Suffer 87-77 Setback to Visiting Spalding

DANVILLE, Ky. (CentreColonels.com) – The Centre men's basketball scored 58 second half points and shot 62.6 percent (15-of-24) in the closing frame, but could not overcome an 18-point halftime deficit as Spalding claimed an 87-77 victory over the Colonels on Wednesday night at Alumni Gymnasium.

Centre falls to 1-2 on the season, while the Golden Eagles earn their first win of the season to improve to 1-2.

Spalding jumped out to a 37-19 lead in the first half, as the Colonels shot just 28 percent (7-of-25) from the floor and 21.4 percent (3-of-14) from behind the arc while also committing nine turnovers in the opening period.

The Golden Eagles would build their lead to as many as 24 points at 52-28 with 13:08 showing on the second half clock after a 3-pointer by Will Rainey.

Centre answered with a 12-3 run capped by a layup by senior guard Matt Gump (Bellefontaine, Ohio) to shrink the Spalding advantage to 55-40 with just under nine minutes to play.

The Golden Eagles regained a 20-point lead at 75-55 with 3:56 remaining in the game, when the Colonels responded with a 10-3 surge ignited by a 3-pointer by senior guard Brett Jones (Danville, Ky.), as Centre cut the Spalding lead to 78-65 at the 2:54 mark of the half.

The Colonels would extend the run to 18-5, capitalizing on three straight Golden Eagles turnovers to minimize the deficit to just seven points at 80-73 with 1:28 to play. Freshman guard Art Walker (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) keyed the spurt with seven consecutive points for Centre.

Following a Nick Trisko tip-in on the other end for Spalding which gave the Golden Eagles a nine-point edge at 82-73, junior forward Zach Schmucker (Cincinnati, Ohio) answered with a tip-in of his own for the Colonels to bring Centre within seven again at 82-75 with just over a minute remaining.

Unfortunately for the Colonels, the Golden Eagles would knock down five free throws down the stretch while Centre missed a pair of 3-point tries in the final minute as Spalding collected the non-conference triumph.

Sophomore guard Tucker Sine (Bowling Green, Ky.) paced the Colonels with 15 points on 4-of-7 shooting including 3-of-5 from long range. Sine was also a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe and grabbed three rebounds.

Freshman guard Bailey Rakes (Mt. Washington, Ky.) added 12 points shooting 5-of-11 from the floor with six boards.

Senior guard Sam Gruber (LaGrange, Ky.) chipped in a season-high 12 points off the bench for Centre on 4-of-6 shooting from the field and 3-of-5 from downtown. Schmucker added 10 markers off the bench to go with four rebounds, while Walker had nine points and a team-high five assists. 

Dominique Ellis scored a game-high 27 points for the Golden Eagles, connecting on 9-of-12 field goals, 4-of-5 3-pointers and 5-of-7 free throws. Ellis finished with 11 boards for a double-double to go with three steals.

Rylan Rowe tallied 18 points and a game-high six assists while James Turner and Trisko added 15 markers apiece. Trisko recorded 10 boards as well.

The Colonels finished the ball game shooting 42.6 percent (26-of-61) from the floor, 27.3 percent (9-of-33) from behind the arc and 88.9 percent (16-of-18) from the free throw line, while Spalding was 57.7 percent (30-of-52) on field goals, 41.7 percent (10-of-24) from downtown and 70.8 percent (17-of-24) from the charity stripe.

The Golden Eagles held a 39-25 rebounding edge, but Centre outscored Spalding 44-10 in bench points.

The Colonels are back in action on Saturday, Nov. 26 facing off with their third straight intrastate opponent, traveling to Thomas More for a 7 p.m. tip-off.