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Sine shines as Colonels hold off Stormy Petrels, 70-67, clinch SAA title share

Sine shines as Colonels hold off Stormy Petrels, 70-67, clinch SAA title share

DANVILLE, Ky. – Tucker Sine (Bowling Green, Ky.) scored 26 points and the Colonel men's basketball team held off a late rally to defeat Oglethorpe, 70-67, Sunday afternoon in Alumni Gymnasium.

Sine scored 20 of his season-high 26 in the second half – which included a remarkable stretch of outside shooting – helping the Colonels advance to 16-7 overall and 11-2 against Southern Athletic Association (SAA) competition. They also avenged their only loss of the calendar year – a 76-69 defeat Jan. 14 in Atlanta.

Oglethorpe, which nearly erased a 20-point second-half deficit, falls to 14-10 (8-5 SAA).

Although the Petrels held a slight edge 10-5 edge in the early stages of the game, the Colonels soon reeled off a 12-4 run and led 20-16 by the under-12 media break.

Sophomore Jacob Bates (LaGrange, Ky.) scored eight of those 12 points, sparking Centre's attack off the bench.

The two sides continued to go back and forth throughout a first half that featured four ties and five lead changes.

Led by Sine, Centre closed the period on a strong note, and carried a 36-32 advantage into the break.

The junior guard picked up where he left off in the second half, draining a pair of 3-pointers as the Colonels forced a quick Oglethorpe timeout.

Centre held Oglethorpe without a field goal for more than three minutes to start the period, as well, going on an 8-1 stretch for its biggest lead of the day at 44-33.

That margin would only grow over the next few minutes, as Sine hit three more triples to ignite the crowd and give the Colonels a 59-39 lead.

The Petrels wouldn't go quietly, knocking down a handful of their own outside shots while manufacturing a 12-1 to get right back in the contest.

Oglethorpe continued to claw back, and nearly erased the 20-point deficit after pulling within 68-67 in the final minute.

Sine iced the game with a pair of late free throws, though, as Oglethorpe's final 3-point attempt missed.

As a team, Centre shot above 42 percent (25-59) from the field, and out-rebounded Oglethorpe 38 to 33. The Colonels had 13 assists to just six turnovers, as well.

Bates recorded 15 points and a team-high nine rebounds, while sophomore Perry Ayers (Bowling Green, Ky.) tallied 13 points, six rebounds and three assists.

Sine's 26 points came on an 8-for-15 shooting effort, including five 3-pointers, and he added six boards and two assists.

The Colonels remain in the driver's seat in the conference standings, earning at least a share of the SAA regular season title. They clinch the outright title – and right to host the SAA Tournament – with a win against Sewanee next Saturday. Tip-off from Alumni Gym is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET.