KERRVILLE, Texas — The Centenary College men took control late in the first half of Sunday’s Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) championship game and never relinquished its double digit second half lead en route to a 77-56 victory over defending champion Texas Lutheran University. Official Tournament Website | Post-game Interview w/Centenary | Men’s Tournament StatsSCAC Newcomer of the Year Ralph Johnson had a team-high 17 points to go along with seven rebounds and four assists, and Tournament MVP senior forward Cedric Harris had 16 points and 10 rebounds – his 10th double-double of the season – to pace the Gents.
Centenary led by as much as 23 down the stretch in capturing the program’s first-ever SCAC men’s basketball tournament title. The 21-point margin of victory in the championship game is the largest in the 18-year history of the event.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Texas Lutheran jumped out to its biggest lead of the game at 7-2 on a Jamir Mason layup with 18:22 remaining in the half. A Cedric Harris three-pointer allowed Centenary to regain the lead at 13-11 with 13:28 remaining and, although the Bulldogs would tie the game on their next possession, the Gents never trailed from that point forward.
- Centenary led 37-24 at the half as the Gents shot 45.5 percent (15-33) from the floor and held Texas Lutheran to 31.0 percent (9-29), including just 8.3 percent (1-12) from three-point range.
- The Gents shot a blistering 58.3 percent (14-24) in the second half and finished at 50.9 percent (29-57) for the game, the team’s second-highest single game field goal percentage this season and the best since they defeated the same TLU squad in Seguin on Feb. 8.
- Centenary’s bench was huge on Sunday, outscoring TLU’s, 25-4. Tykeem Singleton (13) and Kile Mingo (12) both scored in double figures off the bench for the Gents.
CENTENARY STATISTICAL STANDOUTS
- Ralph Johnson: 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists
- Cedric Harris: 16 points, 10 rebounds
- Ty Prince: 13 points, five rebounds, three assists, three steals
- Tykeem Singleton: 13 points
TEXAS LUTHERAN STATISTICAL STANDOUTS
- Caleb Lister: 19 points, 14 rebounds, two assists
- Jamir Mason: 11 points, 11 rebounds, six assists
- Sebastian Andrade: 11 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals
- The fourth time proved to be the charm for Centenary as the Gents had been 0-3 in its previous three SCAC tournament final appearances (2014, 2015, 2018).
- The last men’s basketball conference title for Centenary came in 1980 as members of the NCAA Division I Trans America Athletic Conference (now the Atlantic Sun).
- Conversely, Texas Lutheran dropped its first title game in five appearances.
- Centenary continued the trend of success for the top seed in this event. The Gents appearance in the finals marked the seventh time in the last eight years the men’s top seed has played for the tournament title and those teams are now 6-1 in the championship game.
- The title represents just the second conference title for the institution since joining the SCAC prior to the 2012-13 academic year. Centenary won the SCAC baseball championship in 2017.
- The all-tournament team consisted of Matthew Rindahl of Schreiner, Caleb Lister and Sebastian Andrade of Texas Lutheran and Kile Mingo, Ralph Johnson and Cedric Harris of Centenary.
- Harris was named tournament MVP.
- Texas Lutheran ends its season with an 16-12 mark.
Centenary, winner of the SCAC’s automatic bid, improves to 18-9 on the season and will find out its NCAA Tournament first-round matchup on Monday when the NCAA announces the 2020 national bracket.