Centre men win tourney

women take third place

November 23, 2003

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Jason Atwell earned most valuable player honors after Centre won the championship of the season-opening Buzz Ridl Classic with an 81-65 victory over Westminster (Pa.).

Atwell, a Mercer County High School graduate, had 16 points, three rebounds and three assists in the title, following a 15-point effort in the Colonels' first-round win Friday.

Five players scored in double figures to help Centre (2-0) dispatch tourney host Westminster (1-1). Coy Zerhusen had a team-high 19 after scoring just two the night before, freshman Reggie Magnussed followed a 21-point career debut with 16 more, Rob King had 13 to secure a spot on the all-tournament team and James Booker added 11 off the bench.

But offense was not what carried the day for Centre in its two victories.

"We won with defense and rebounding," Centre coach Greg Mason said. "Early in the year, that's got to be a calling card."


The Colonels held Westminster to 32.7 percent shooting from the field and forced 13 turnovers. A day earlier, they held Lake Erie to a shooting mark of 30.2 percent and forced 19 turnovers in a 66-46 win.

On the boards, Centre outrebounded Westminster 46-25 and Lake Erie 51-32.

Zerhusen had a game-high 11 rebounds and Kyle Roby added eight against Westminster; King had 16 boards against Lake Erie.


At Danville, Centre bounced back from an opening-night defeat to beat Savannah Art & Design 76-73 in overtime Saturday to take third place in its Country Hearth Inn Tournament at Alumni Gymnasium.

Freshman point guard Casey Geiman hit two free throws with two seconds left in regulation to force overtime, and the Colonels hit eight of 14 free throws in the extra period.

Geiman represented Centre (1-1) on the all-tournament team after posting 15 points and 21 rebounds in two games, including 10 points and 13 boards against SCAD (0-2).

SCAD led 66-64 with 10 seconds left in regulation before Geiman drove the length of the floor and drew a foul.

Centre's key free throws in overtime included one by Mercer County High School alum Jacqueline Coleman to seal the win. Coleman and Virginia Lowery led Centre with 16 points each, and Liz Braun added 10.

The Colonels led by as many as 13 points in the second half.

"I felt like we played extremely hard," Centre coach Jennifer Ruff said. "Even though we struggled at times with our offense, our defense really pulled us through."

SCAD shot just 38.2 percent from the field and was 2-for-12 in overtime. Centre shot 50 percent.

The Colonels lost 53-49 Friday to LaGrange.

LaGrange led 31-19 late in the first half. Centre battled back in the second half and pulled within three points with a minute remaining, but the Colonels got no closer.

Centre's women and men host Maryville (Tenn.) in a doubleheader Tuesday.

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