Strong second half gives Centre win over Rose-Hulman

February 23, 2004

Centre College played what coach Greg Mason called its "best half of the season" to deny visiting Rose-Hulman a share of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championship Sunday.

The Colonels shot 72.2 percent from the field and 82.6 percent at the foul line in the second half to beat Rose-Hulman 78-68. Centre (18-7, 10-4 SCAC) scored 50 points in the second half to win a game that had 10 lead changes.

"This was really a big win for us," said Centre coach Greg Mason.

The win in the regular-season finale sends the Colonels into this weekend's conference tournament at Memphis, Tenn., as a No. 3 seed.

"We are peaking at the right time again," Mason said. "Our seniors know what it takes to win, and today's game was a perfect way to send them out on top."


Mason said senior Rob King had a "monster dunk" on Centre's second possession to set the tone for the game. The coach also praised the play of senior guards Jason Atwell and James Booker.

However, it was the play of freshman center Reggie Magnusson and sophomore Coy Zerhusen that played the biggest role in Centre's win.

Magnusson was 5-10 from the field and 11-for-12 at the foul line to finish with 22 points. He also had five rebounds and one blocked shot.

Zerhusen was 5-for-9 from the field and had 14 points. He also pulled off six rebounds and made four steals in a team-high 31 minutes of play.

"Reggie easily had his best game of the year," Mason said. "They had to double him inside and our second-half shooting had a lot to do with them not knowing whether to double Reggie or guard our shooters.

"Coy also came up big again. He's so consistent that you almost take him for granted. But he had another superb game."

Centre was 21-for-45 from the field in the game and 29-for-34 at the foul line. In the second half, the Colonels were 13-for-18 from the field and 19-for-23 at the foul line. Rose-Hulman shot 42.6 percent (23-for-54) from the field and was 16-for-25 at the foul line.

Both teams had 15 turnovers and Rose-Hulman won the rebounding battle 33-29.

"We played good basketball all weekend. Now we just have to carry this over to the conference tournament and see what happens," Mason said.

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