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LEVELLAND, Texas - The No. 1 ranked South Plains College Texan basketball team remained undefeated as they slipped by Howard College 65-62 Monday evening in the Texan Dome. With the victory, South Plains improves to 20-0 overall and 5-0 in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference (WJCAC).
Freshman point guard Devonte Smith
helped the Texans begin an 11-0 scoring run when he converted a drive in the paint for two points to tie the game at 17 apiece with 5:22 remaining in the first half. Smith would go on to score 6 of his 8 points during the run that would end only after he found Deshaunt Walker
for a wide open 3 to give SPC a 26-17 lead.
Howard countered with the final eight points of the half as the two teams went to the locker room with the Texans holding a 26-25 advantage.
Held scoreless in the first half, Texan season scoring leader Marshall Henderson
stripped the ball away from Howard's Jerry Dixon with the score tied up at 56 and would drive the length of the floor to give SPC the lead. Moments later Smith found Henderson who nailed his only 3-point shot of the night, giving the Texans a five-point lead with under 2-minutes remaining on the clock.
The Texans maintained their five-point advantage with only 40-seconds remaining, but at that time Yanick Moreira
drew his fifth foul to end his night and send Rico Richardson to the line. Richardson missed and Malcolm Miller
grabbed the defensive rebound but Smith then committed his lone turnover of the night trying to pass the ball back to Miller.
Richardson missed a three-point attempt but retrieved his own rebound to give Howard another chance. Shavon Coleman brought the Hawks to within two with a deep 3-point bucket in the near corner.
South Plains inbounded the ball to Henderson who drew a foul and went to the line to shoot double-bonus, nailing them both to again make it a two possession ballgame.
Howard received another second chance opportunity after a Coleman miss. Howard's Calvin Godfrey grabbed the rebound and it appeared SPC's Stanton Kidd
blocked his shot until the whistle indicated Godfrey had been fouled and would go to the line for two free throw attempts.
Godfrey sank the first. His second rattled out but was tipped in by Hawk teammate Zech Smith, bringing Howard to within a single point, 63-62, with only seconds remaining.
The Texans again inbounded to Henderson who finished the night a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line after sinking two more with only 2-seconds remaining on the clock.
Howard would be unable to get a final shot off as Coleman turned the ball over when he stepped out of bounds just before trying to call his team's final timeout.
Kidd led all scorers with a game high 17 points, making 7-of-10 shots from the field. Moreira just missed a double-double with 13 points and nine boards, while Henderson also finished with 13 points. Miller chipped in with nine points and Smith had yet another all-around night with eight points, six assists, and five rebounds.
The loss drops Howard to 14-5 for the season and 3-2 in conference play and, more importantly, giving the Texans a two-game lead over the Hawks, Midland, Odessa, and New Mexico who all sit at 3-2 after five WJCAC contests.
South Plains will return to the court Thursday, February 2 when they visit Western Texas College (13-8, 1-4) in Snyder. Western Texas is coming off a humiliating 103-63 loss at Odessa College Monday evening.
Live video of the Texans game at Western Texas will be available at www.spctexans.com. HPRN's Michael Wiiest will call the courtside action and can be heard live on KLVT 1230 AM and www.hprnetwork.com.
Howard (14-5, 3-2)
Jerry Dixon 1-6 0-2 3, Leon Cooper 0-0 0-2 0, Rico Richardson 1-5 0-1 3, Jacob Thomas 6-12 0-0 14, Calvin Godfrey 6-9 2-3 14, Phillip Miller 3-7 0-0 9, Shavon Coleman 4-16 3-4 15, Damion McGee 0-1 0-0 0, Marsalis Stewart 0-0 0-0 0, Zech Smith 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 23-59 5-12 62
South Plains (20-0, 5-0)Deshaunt Walker
1-1 0-0 3, Yanick Moreira
5-12 3-7 13, Devonte Smith
3-3 2-2 8, Stanton Kidd
7-10 3-4 17, Marshall Henderson
3-9 6-6 13, Tymell Murphy
0-5 0-0 0, Greg Gainey
1-1 0-0 2, Malcolm Miller
3-7 2-2 9, Darius Harris
0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-49 16-21 65
SCORE BY PERIODS 1st 2nd TOTAL
Howard 25 37 62
South Plains 26 39 65
FG%: Howard .390, South Plains .469. 3-pt FG:Howard 11-24 (Dixon 1-3, Richardson 1-4, Thomas 2-5, Miller 3-4, Coleman 4-8), South Plains 3-10 (Walker 1-1, Moreira 0-1, Henderson 1-5, Miller 1-3). Rebounds: Howard 33 (Godfrey 7), South Plains 37 (Moreira 9). Fouls Howard 20, South Plains 18. Fouled out: Moreira . Technical: HENDERSON. Assists: Howard 14 (Dixon 4), South Plains 13 (Smith 6). Steals: Howard 3 (Godfrey 2), South Plains 7 (Smith 4). Blocked shots: Howard 3 (Coleman 2), South Plains 5 (Moreira 2). Turnovers: Howard 11, South Plains 11.