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Centre sets steals record, defeats Rhodes for fourth win in a row

Centre sets steals record, defeats Rhodes for fourth win in a row

DANVILLE, Ky. – Centre men's basketball won its fourth game in a row and eighth in the last nine tries Sunday, defeating Southern Athletics Association (SAA) rival Rhodes, 90-76, inside Alumni Gymnasium.

The Colonels (12-7, 7-2 SAA) held the visiting Lynx (9-11, 3-6) to just 76 points – a season-low for the typically high-scoring team – and set a program single-game record with 18 steals.

They also capitalized with 48 points in the paint and 24 made free throws.

After losing 101-96 at home against the Colonels a week ago, the Lynx seemed poised to return the favor Sunday in Alumni Gym. Rhodes hit 5 of its first 6 attempts from 3-point range, and built an 11-point lead just five minutes into the game.

The Colonels weathered the early storm, and slowly climbed back until a pair of Tucker Sine (Bowling Green, Ky.) free throws evened the game at 29-29 with 5:13 left.

Centre closed on a strong 14-4 run, taking a 43-33 lead into the half. The Colonels leaned heavily on a strong 17-for-21 effort from the charity stripe in the first period.

Rhodes would not go quietly, pulling within two at 64-62 following an 8-0 run midway through the second half.

Centre answered with a 9-0 run of its own, however, and the Lynx would not get as close the rest of the way.

Rhodes, which scores nearly 110 points per game with its pressure system, finished 11 points behind its previous season-low of 87.

Junior Jarod Griffin (Lexington, Ky.) and sophomore Bailey Rakes (Mt. Washington, Ky.) eached finished with a team-high four steals, as the Colonels topped their previous record of 16 set Jan. 27, 2001 against Sewanee.

Centre held a distinct plus-19 advantage in made free throws, and scored 28 points off of Rhodes' 22 turnovers.

Sophomore Jacob Bates (LaGrange, Ky.) led the Colonels with 20 points, nine rebounds, four steals and four assists, hitting 9 of 10 field goals.

Classmate Art Walker (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) followed with 18, adding four rebounds and a pair of assists.

Sine and sophomore Perry Ayers (Bowling Green, Ky.) each finished with 14 points and three steals, combining to go 13-for-15 from the free throw line. Ayers also pulled in six rebounds. Sophomore Jakob Spitzer (Atlanta) had 10 points in 12 minutes of action.

Bates, Sine and freshman Dawson Crump (Bowling Green, Ky.) co-led the team with four assists, as the Colonels assisted on 23 of 30 field goals.

Centre heads to Birmingham Southern next Friday, Feb. 2, at 9 p.m. ET. The Colonels defeated the Panthers 75-71 earlier this season.