LEVELLAND — The No. 3 ranked South Plains College men's basketball team eclipsed the century mark for the second this season on Saturday as they bested the Collin County Cougars 100-79 at the Texan Dome.
South Plains shot 54 percent from the floor in the contest and knocked down seven 3s in the first 20 minutes as they improved to 4-2 on the year. Collin County shot just 40 percent from the field and 29 percent from 3 as the Cougars fell to 4-2 on the season.
"I thought we played a little better today than we have to this point," South Plains head coach Steve Green said. "I think we've played the first four of five games this season and didn't recognize our big guys on our team. I've tried to emphasize the last couple of days we need to involve them more which would make it easier on the perimeter."
South Plains opened the contest with an 18-3 run capped by an Isaiah Maurice layup at the 13:43 mark of the first half. Ben Perez pushed the lead to 19 with under 10 minutes to play with a jumper from 15-feet.
Collin County responded with 10 unanswered points and trimmed the lead to 28-19 on a free throw from Jackson Nobles. Maurice put the Texans back up 46-32 with a conversion at the rim with under two minutes remaining before the break.
"We were able to get the ball inside and I found some good looks early on," said Maurice who finished with a season-high 22 points on 10 of 13 shooting. "We were trying to get to our spots on the floor and focus on playing team basketball. We need to watch film of our last two games so we can fix our mistakes and work on moving the ball in transition and playing our game on defense."
Leading 52-37 at the midway point, South Plains would come out in the second half and shoot 51 percent from the field and held the Cougars to a 14-for-34 shooting mark in the final stint. Jordan Brangers, who tied his career high with 38 points gave the Texans a 68-52 lead with a 3 from the top of the key with 15:14 to play.
Keith McGee put The Texans up 21 with a layup at the 10:07 mark of the second half. South Plains would go on to lead by as much as 26 on a Greg Shead layup with 5:43 to play as the Texans picked up their third win in as many games.
"There are two things that will tell if we're going to be any good, and that's can we stop anyone in the half court and can we share the basketball on the offensive end," Green said. "If we can do that we can be pretty good if we don't do one of those two we're going to struggle."
Tajzmel Sherman led the Cougars with 25 points in 26 minutes. Nobles finished with 15 points and four rebounds shooting 7 of 10 from the floor. South Plains' Asuquo Efretuei chipped in nine points and corralled nine boards while Raymond Doby pitched in with nine points and eight rebounds.
South Plains will return to action on Nov. 24 when they tip off against Seminole State College at 4 p.m. at the Collin County Thanksgiving Classic. Following that game, South Plains will take on Murray State on Nov. 25 at 4 p.m.