LEVELLAND—Jahlil Tripp scored 26 points and Jordan Brangers bucketed 21 as the top-ranked South Plains College Texans downed the No. 18 Odessa College Wranglers 101-88 to remain unbeaten and improve to 3-0 in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference on Monday night at the Texan Dome.
"I knew my teammates were going to be trusting me to make the right plays," Tripp said. "Whether it was scoring the basketball or making the right pass, we always have trust in each other. We wanted to come out and play our brand of basketball."
The Texans did just that as they shot 60 percent from the field over 40 minutes including 47 percent from behind the arc. Josh Webster totaled 14 points and four assists in 29 minutes while Roberto Gallinat chipped in 13 points and hauled in six boards.
"Everyday we try to be one-and-oh," Webster said. "We picked it up in the second half and kept our composure and got the win. Our mindset was to stay within the game. We know we're going to get everyone's best shot, so we just try to keep our composure and remain focused."
South Plains found their stroke early on as Gallinat slammed home a two-handed dunk to give the Texans an early four point, 13-9 lead. Grantham Gillard hit a trey from the right wing with 10:25 left in the first half to extend the lead to nine, 25-16.
A conversion at the rim from Webster with 5:30 remaining before the break extended the lead to 40-28. The Wranglers(13-3, 2-1) answered back with a 7-0 run capped off by a Tyree Robinson 3 ball from the top of the key to cut the lead to 43-37. South Plains responded with a 7-0 run of its own to end the first half and take a 54-42 lead into the break.
Tripp extended the Texans' lead to 69-48 with a 3 from the corner with 15:25 left in regulation. Following a layup from Tripp with 11:32 to play that extended the lead to 77-55, Odessa preceded to go on a 13-1 run that cut the Texans' lead to 78-68 with 6:51 remaining.
After consecutive buckets from Webster and Gillard that put the Texans back up by 14 points with under six minutes remaining, the Wranglers would string together one last run and trim the lead to 82-75 at the 5:02 mark following a 3 from Robinson. Tripp would answer the call one more time with a 3 of his own with under three minutes left to put the Texans up 91-81 and ice any chances of a late comeback from Odessa.
"I told the guys we went through a spell tonight where I thought we were a national-championship team," South Plains head coach Steve Green said. "We ran it out to 20 and they got frustrated and we were doing a bunch of good things. Then, I thought we got a little tired and we began to play like the game is really easy.
"We brought them back into it and had some silly turnovers. I saw 28 minutes where we were good enough to win everything. And then I saw six or eight where you see why some teams don't do it."
South Plains will take two days off before heading to Hobbs, NM on Thursday for a conference showdown with the New Mexico Junior College Thunderbirds. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. MST and can be watched live at spctexans.com using the 'Watch Games' tab at the top of the page.