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Centre rides strong second half to victory over Millsaps

Centre rides strong second half to victory over Millsaps

DANVILLE, Ky. – Centre men's basketball used a second-half surge to escape Alumni Gymnasium with a 63-58 victory against Millsaps Sunday in Southern Athletic Association action.

After trailing 42-33 with less than 13 minutes remaining, the Colonels closed the game on a 30-16 stretch to win their third game in a row.

The Colonels move to 7-6 overall and are 2-1 in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA), while the visiting Majors drop to 3-11 (0-3 SAA).

The first half saw eight ties and as many lead changes, but the Colonels hit just 36 percent of their shots and found themselves trailing 27-25 at the break.

Sophomore Art Walker (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) scored Centre's first eight points, but he and the rest of the Colonels were held relatively quiet on the offensive end for much of the frame.

Millsaps took its biggest lead of the afternoon in the early stages of the second half, using a 9-3 start to take a 36-28 edge at the first media timeout.

A traditional 3-point play from sophomore Jacob Bates (LaGrange, Ky.) helped slow the Majors' run down, but not long after the visitors had pushed their lead up to nine at 42-33.

That's when the Colonels flipped a switch.

Centre answered with a 22-7 stretch of its own to regain the lead for the first time since midway through the opening period and wouldn't relinquish it the rest of the way.

Mixing in a 1-3-1 zone defense helped the Colonels hold Millsaps at bay down the stretch, and ultimately Centre walked off the court with its fifth win in the last six outings.

Senior Tucker Sine (Bowling Green, Ky.) scored all 11 of his points in the second half, knocking down all three of his 3-point attempts.

Bates led the Colonels with 16 points – including 12 in the second half – and also had a team-high eight rebounds.

Walker totaled 14 points, five rebounds and a pair of steals, and freshman Dawson Crump (Bowling Green, Ky.) followed Bates with seven rebounds while playing 30 minutes.

The Colonels are on the road for their next four games, beginning with a Jan. 12 meeting against Berry at 8 p.m. ET.