Printable Format Game Stats Highlights
BIG SPRING, Texas - The NJCAA No. 1 ranked South Plains College Texans claimed their first Western Junior College Athletic Conference (WJCAC) championship since 2007 after rallying from a first half deficit to knock off rival Howard College 72-60 Thursday night at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum. South Plains remains undefeated, moving to 27-0 overall and 12-0 in conference play with only two regular season contests remaining.
Howard (20-6, 9-3) asserted themselves early by jumping out to a 15-2 lead just over 5-minutes into the ballgame. Marshall Henderson
then converted three consecutive field goals and then brought the Texans to within four points after nailing a 3, making it a 17-13 ballgame to cap an 11-2 run.
Henderson would have to check out of the game moments later after picking up his second foul.
South Plains would pull within three points twice; after Terrance Durham stole the ball and drove for a fast break layup and then after Greg Gainey
pulled down a missed attempt by Tymell Murphy
and put it back up for a basket.
The Hawks closed out the half with two 3-point goals to take a nine point lead to the locker room
Whatever Texan head coach Steve Green
said to his team at halftime must have been taken to heart as South Plains rode a 12-2 run that saw South Plains take their first lead of the game after Murphy rebounded a put back a Henderson miss four minutes into the half, giving the Texan a 34-33 advantage.
Down 38-35 with less than 13:42 remaining on the clock, Howard tried to regain control of the contest with an 11-2 run of their own. Jerry Dixon made sunk two free throws after being fouled by Gainey and then Jacob Thomas hit a 3-point goal to get it started and finished it with another 3 at the 10:07 mark.
Murphy banked in a 3 and Henderson hit another of his own on the next trip down to give the game its first tied score.
The Texans would not trail again.
Up by only a point, 55-54, Murphy completed a three point play and Yanick Moreira
gave the Texans a six point lead with back-to-back field goals after Howard's Shavon Coleman converted a couple from the charity stripe. Two free throws by Terrance Durham made it an eight-point game with a little more than one minute to go in the game.
Howard received a brief bit of hope when Thomas made the last of his six 3-point baskets, but it was all SPC the rest of the way as they made 6-of-6 free throws down the stretch and Henderson sandwiched in a dunk to help the Texans pull of the win.
Moreira and Henderson led the Texans with 20 points apiece. Moreira made 9-of-12 shots from the field and just missed a double-double finishing with nine rebounds. Murphy was also one rebound shy of a double-double as he scored 14 points and grabbed nine boards.
The Texans enter the final week of the regular season knowing what seed they will be entering next month's Region 5 tournament, hosted by Lubbock Christian University at the Rip Griffin Center.
SPC will host Western Texas College on Monday, February 27 at the Texan Dome and then travel to Roswell, N.M. to face the New Mexico Military Institute on March 1.
Holiday Inn Express and Suites of Levelland is the sponsor of Monday's game and has donated a Kindle Fire that will be raffled off at halftime of the final home game for the seven sophomores on the Texan roster. Deshaunt Walker
, Derrell Edwards
, Stanton Kidd
, Marshall Henderson
, Tymell Murphy
, Greg Gainey
, and Malcolm Miller
will each be playing their final home game for the Texans.
Monday's game versus Western Texas will tip-off at 7:45 p.m. and live video of the action can be accessed at www.spctexans.com. KLVT's Michael Wiiest will call the courtside action on KLVT 1230 AM and www.klvtradio.com.
South Plains (27-0, 12-0)Deshaunt Walker
0-1 0-0 0, Yanick Moreira
9-12 2-5 20, Derrell Edwards
0-1 0-0 0, Devonte Smith
1-4 3-8 5, Stanton Kidd
2-2 1-1 5, Marshall Henderson
8-16 2-2 20, Tymell Murphy
5-14 3-3 14, Greg Gainey
2-6 0-0 4, Terrence Durham
1-2 2-2 4, Alex Giraudier
0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-58 13-21 72
Howard (20-6, 9-3)
Jerry Dixon 2-7 3-4 8, Leon Cooper 1-1 0-0 2, Rico Richardson 1-7 0-0 3, Jacob Thomas 9-18 3-4 27, Calvin Godfrey 4-7 2-4 10, Phillip Miller 0-2 0-0 0, Shavon Coleman 2-10 6-6 10, Damion McGee 0-2 0-0 0, Marsalis Stewart 0-0 0-0 0, Chad Posthumous 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-54 14-18 60
SCORE BY PERIODS 1st 2nd TOTAL
South Plains 22 50 72
Howard 31 29 60
FG%: South Plains .483, Howard .352. 3-pt FG:South Plains 3-16 (Walker 0-1, Edwards 0-1, Smith 0-2, Henderson 2-8, Murphy 1-3, Durham 0-1), Howard 8-29 (Dixon 1-2, Richardson 1-6, Thomas 6-13, Miller 0-2, Coleman 0-4, McGee 0-2). Rebounds: South Plains 44 (Moreira 9, Murphy 9), Howard 25 (Coleman 7). Fouls South Plains 19, Howard 20. Fouled out: Kidd . Technical: Moreira. Assists: South Plains 10 (Smith 3), Howard 12 (Dixon 5). Steals: South Plains 5 (Henderson 2), Howard 8 (Thomas 3). Blocked shots: South Plains 4 (Murphy 2), Howard 3 (Godfrey 3). Turnovers: South Plains 16, Howard 16.