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@Centre_Bball Pulls Away for 71-63 SAA Victory over Sewanee

@Centre_Bball Pulls Away for 71-63 SAA Victory over Sewanee

DANVILLE, Ky. (CentreColonels.com) – The Centre men's basketball team outscored visiting Sewanee 41-32 in the second half en route to a 71-63 triumph in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) opener on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Gymnasium.

The Colonels win their third straight game to boost their record to 4-2 on the season with a 1-0 ledger in SAA play, while the Tigers move to 4-2 on the year and 0-1 in conference action.

A jump shot by Leo Born gave Sewanee a 38-34 lead with just over 16 minutes to play in the game, before a jumper by freshman guard Perry Ayers (Bowling Green, Ky.) on the other end cut the Tigers' advantage in half.

Following a Tiger turnover and a Colonels timeout, Centre would pull down four offensive rebounds in a row, including three straight boards by junior forward Zach Schmucker (Cincinnati, Ohio). The Colonels' hustle ultimately resulted in a jumper by sophomore guard Tucker Sine (Bowling Green, Ky.) to knot the game at 38-38 with 14:46 remaining.

Sine's jump shot was part of a 15-2 run for Centre as the Colonels took a 49-40 lead after freshman forward Jacob Bates (LaGrange, Ky.) completed the old-fashioned 3-point play with 10:37 showing on the clock.

Centre held that nine-point advantage at 54-49 with 8:36 to play in the game when senior guard Sam Gruber (LaGrange, Ky.) drained a 3-pointer, before the Tigers responded with an 8-4 spurt to shrink the Colonels' lead to five points at 58-53 with 4:32 left in the game.

However, that is as close as Sewanee would come for the remainder of the contest, as Centre was 9-of-9 from the free throw line and 2-of-3 from the field the rest of the way.

Gump and Bates each led the Colonels with 14 points apiece. Gump connected on 5-of-11 field goals, 1-of-3 3-pointers and 3-of-5 shots from the free throw line in the win, while Bates was 5-of-8 from the field, 1-of-3 from behind the arc and a perfect 3-of-3 from the charity stripe. The freshman added five rebounds, three steals and three blocks for Centre.

Sine finished with 12 points, 10 coming in the second half on 4-of-8 shooting. The Bowling Green, Ky. native was 4-of-4 from the free throw line and matched a game-high with eight rebounds in the victory.

Schmucker contributed six rebounds off the bench, including four offensive boards for the Colonels.

Ayers and fellow freshman guard Bailey Rakes (Mt. Washington, Ky.) each added eight points for Centre.

Jorden Williams tallied a game-high 21 points for the Tigers followed by Brody Stone with 19 markers and eight boards.

The Colonels opened the contest on a 7-0 run as freshman forward Jakob Spitzer (Atlanta, Ga.) knocked down a pair of free throws just under two minutes into the game. The Tigers answered with five straight points, before Centre used a 9-0 run to gain its largest lead of the day at 16-5 with 14:46 to play in the half. Gump scored six consecutive points to cap the surge.

The Colonels held an eight-point edge at 26-18 with 6:26 remaining before Sewanee outscored Centre 13-4 for the remainder of the half to gain a 31-30 edge at the break.

The Colonels shot 44.2 percent (23-of-52) from the field in the contest, including 33.3 percent (5-of-15) from downtown. Centre connected on 80.0 percent (20-of-25) of free throws in the win, the Colonels' third game this season shooting at least 80.0 percent from the charity stripe.

The Tigers finished 42.1 percent (24-of-57) on field goals, 25.0 percent (6-of-24) from behind the arc and 90.0 percent (9-of-10) from the free throw line.

Centre outscored Sewanee 15-10 off turnovers, 30-26 in the paint and 32-13 in bench points in the victory.

The Colonels now have a 16-day hiatus until their next contest when Centre travels to Berea for a non-conference contest on Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. ET. The Colonels topped the Mountaineers 80-66 last season.  


Postgame press conference 


photo by Bingxu Ren