Maurice Dixon

@WriturRece |

ATLANTA – With snow and ice threatening to shut down the metro area, Dorough Field House and Pinholster Court were comfortably heated but Tucker Sine decided to increase the temperature on The Blacktop a little more.

Sine, a 6-2 sophomore guard for Centre College, scored 23 points, including six 3-pointers as the Colonels earned a 77-67 road win over Oglethorpe University on January 6 in a Southern Athletic Association (SAA) contest.

“It’s a big-time win for us,” Sine said. “Oglethorpe is a good team and they play really well at home. Now we are 2-0 in conference and going to Berry on Sunday so hopefully we beat them and keep our undefeated record in conference.”

Not long after the opening tip, Sine imposed his will on the game. He nailed two quick 3s and converted a layup for a three-point play, and a Centre 9-4 advantage. After a 3-pointer by Art Walker, Sine added another shot from deep for a 15-5 lead and a Oglethorpe timeout with 12:40 left in the half.

(The box score also read Tucker Sine with 12 points to the Stormy Petrels’ 5.)

“I just tried to get hot early,” Sine said. “My teammates were doing a good job of getting me open, driving the lane and kicking out to me from 3. I’m glad I could get it going for our team early and provide a little spark for us.”

Nearly three minutes later, Sine found Jarod Griffin for a 3 and the Colonels’ largest lead of the half of 20-7.

However, basketball is a game of runs and Justin Edwards (13 points) started chipping away at Oglethorpe’s deficit with three straight baskets. Then the Petrels found their stroke from deep, starting with a 3-pointer from George Andino (15 points), and two more from Drew Patrick and Chris Lawrence (12 points) for a 27-24 score with 4:16 left in the half.

Less than two minutes later, Edwards pulled Oglethorpe even at 28 with a layup. On the other end, Matt Gump (nine points) drilled a 3 to rebuild Centre’s lead and result in a 33-30 edge for the Colonels at the break.

Right out of halftime, Sine started the second half just like he did the first. Following a steal, he pushed the margin to six with his fourth 3-pointer of the game. Then Gump added a layup and Sine found Bailey Rakes (eight points) for a 3 to cap an 8-0 run with 18:27 left to play.

Mike Turner (12 points) was a one-man surge, scoring three straight buckets to pull the Petrels back with five with 16:26 to go but Griffin converted a layup and Sine made a 3 to push the margin back to double digits.

The distance between the teams remained near double figures until Centre scored on six consecutive layups for an 18-point advantage with 5:46 to go. Oglethorpe climbed all the way back to single digits with 1:28 left but Gump drilled a 3-pointer 30 seconds later to virtually seal things.

“We’re a really good shooting team,” said Sine, who also led the team with five assists. “We’re really deep. We bring in a lot of good shooters like Art Walker and Sam Gruber so it’s not just me getting up the 3s. We can score in a variety of ways so that is what makes us pretty good.”

Perry Ayers scored 13 points for the Colonels, who shot 43 percent from 3-point range.

Tom Inungu had eight points and 10 boards for the Petrels, who shot just 50 percent from the foul line.