26 Conference Titles | 16 NCAA Tournament Appearances | 11 All-Americans | Two Rhodes Scholars | Two Final Fours
Walker, Colonels scorch Warriors in SAA blowout
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CONWAY, Ark. – Art Walker (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) continued his breakout sophomore campaign with a career-high 32 points in Centre's 98-73 victory Friday night at Hendrix.
Walker went 9 of 14 overall and 5 of 8 from long range as the Colonels improved to 9-7 overall and 4-2 in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA), dropping the host Warriors to 4-13 (2-4). The Colonels also avenge a 12-point loss last season inside Grove Gymnasium.
Centre's 98 points marked a season-high, and came on the strength of the visitor's efficient shooting from the field (46%), from 3-point distance (11 of 26) and the free throw line (27 of 30).
It was Hendrix that built a slight 19-15 lead early on, however. The Colonels reeled off a 13-3 run midway through the first half in response, grabbing a 28-22 lead by the under-eight media timeout.
The Warriors tried to chip away at the deficit before the half, but a late flurry gave Centre momentum in the closing minutes. Junior Jarod Griffin (Lexington, Ky.) drained a long 3-pointer and Walker added consecutive layups to give the Colonels a 46-39 lead heading into the break.
Walker had 19 points at the half, and sophomore Perry Ayers (Bowling Green, Ky.) added 14 points, knocking down a trio of 3-pointers. The pair combined for nine of Centre's 15 made field goals.
The Colonels would take a double-digit lead roughly seven minutes into the second period following consecutive 3-pointers from Walker and Griffin, forcing a Hendrix timeout.
Another deep 3-pointer from Walker near the nine-minute mark made it 74-59, all but putting the contest out of reach.
Centre continued to increase its lead, which peaked at 98-70 in the final minute.
Sophomore Jacob Bates nearly recorded his fourth double-double, falling just shy with 15 points and nine rebounds to go with a pair of assists. Ayers finished the game with 16 points and four rebounds.
Walker's 32 points topped his previous career-high of 23, which he reached in consecutive games back in December. He added three rebounds, two assists and a steal to his line, as well.
Centre out-rebounded Hendrix 44-35, and had 38 bench points to the Warriors' 18.
The Colonels return to action against Rhodes Sunday at 4 p.m. ET in Memphis, Tenn.