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Centenary ends nation's longest losing streak

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February 24, 2011 11:41 PM EST | AP

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SHREVEPORT, La. — Maxx Nakwaasah tied his career-high with 24 points and added 11 rebounds as Centenary defeated Western Illinois 73-60 on Thursday night, ending Division I's longest losing streak at 33 games.

Jonathan Blount added a career-high 19 points and the Gentlemen (1-28, 1-16 Summit League) shot 62.5 percent from the field (10 of 16) in the second half for their first win since defeating IPFW 80-78 on Feb. 6, 2010.

Centenary, which was the last winless team in Division I, was within one loss of the tying the Division I record losing streak, set by Sacramento State from 1997-99.

"We have been waiting on this day for a very long time," first-year coach Adam Walsh said. "I wanted this so bad for our players. They deserve this win and it's huge for the program. We are at a high right now, so hopefully we can come out and play hard on Saturday."

Nakwaasah's double-double was his third this season, the sixth of his career.

"We had a strong week of practice and it translated into the win. It felt great," Nakwaasah said.

Centenary used a 12-0, first-half run to take an 18-7 lead on Nakwaasah's layup with 10:55 left before halftime. The Gentlemen built their advantage to 25-9 with 7:43 left, but Western Illinois (7-21, 2-15) rallied to cut the score to 32-27 on Jack Houpt's 3-pointer with 19:44 left to play.

Blount's 3-pointer pushed Centenary's lead back to 44-32 with 16:09 left.

Houpt scored 15, Jelani Johnson had 13, Kaimarr Price scored 12 and Matt Lander added 10 for the Leathernecks, who have lost 11 straight games.