26 Conference Titles | 16 NCAA Tournament Appearances | 11 All-Americans | Two Rhodes Scholars | Two Final Fours
Late Anderson run dooms Centre in 88-82 loss in Ohio
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WESTERVILLE, Ohio. – Centre men's basketball stumbled Friday afternoon against Anderson, falling 88-82 in the first contest of the 2017 Smokey Ballenger Classic hosted by Otterbein University.
Despite a career-high-tying 23 points from sophomore Art Walker (Mt. Sterling, Ky.), the Colonels (4-6) couldn't fend off the Ravens (5-5), who shot nearly 55 percent overall and 8 of 15 from long range inside the Rike Center.
Anderson capitalized on early Centre mistakes, converting seven turnovers into 16 points to grab a 29-21 lead in the first half.
The Ravens took their biggest lead of the frame, 33-23, with less than five minutes left in the half. But the Colonels trimmed the deficit to six before the horn, trailing 39-33 at the break.
Junior Jarod Griffin (Lexington, Ky.) paced the Colonels with nine first-period points, and as a team Centre shot above 48 percent from the field.
The Colonels would not go quietly over the final 20 minutes, clawing back in the game after trailing by as many as 12 points in the second half.
Following a 6-0 run from Walker midway through the period, the Colonels led, 62-58, completing a remarkable 16-point swing after a 27-11 stretch.
Anderson had the final say, however, reeling off an 8-0 spurt to grab a 74-68 lead it would not relinquish. The Ravens made all eight of their late free throws to negate any Centre comeback.
Trevor Lucas netted 35 points and Cole Hartman added 30 for the Ravens in the win, combining to go 23 of 35 from the field and a sharp 15 of 16 from the free throw line.
Walker totaled his 23 points on a 9 of 15 shooting effort, hitting 5 of 8 from long range. He's averaged over 22 points per game in Centre's last three games.
Griffin followed with an even dozen, adding a pair of assists and rebounds. Sophomores Jacob Bates (LaGrange, Ky.), Perry Ayers (Bowling Green, Ky.) and Bailey Rakes (Mt. Washington, Ky.) each finished with 11 points.
Bates and Ayers led the Colonels with six boards each, as Centre out-rebounded Anderson 31-26. Bates and Rakes each tallied four assists, as well.
Centre waits to face either Albion or host Otterbein in the Classic's consolation game. Tip-off tomorrow (Saturday) is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET.