LEVELLAND — Sophomore Deon Barrett recorded a career-high 22 points, five steals, and four assists as the No. 10-ranked South Plains College men's basketball team pummeled Clarendon College 107-72 Monday in their final home game of the year at the Texan Dome.
The Texans will close out the regular season Thursday night when they travel to Odessa to take on the Wranglers with tip slated for 7:30 p.m. from the OC Sports Center. With a victory Thursday, the Texans will split the conference title with the Wranglers.
"I think if you look at the stats it looks like we played pretty well, but I think we have to be a lot more aggressive on the defensive end," South Plains head coach Steve Green said. "I think they shot a lot of questionable shots that made us look better defensively than we were. Deon shot the lights out, and he found good shots, stepped into them, got great rotation and the ball went into the basket. He took shots he can make, and they went to the zone and stuck him out there and he knocked down a couple."
Barrett finished 8 of 15 from the field and 6 of 11 from 3 as the Texans shot a 51.4 percent clip from the floor in the contest. Sophomore Chris Orlina dropped in 21 points coming off the bench for the Texans, connecting on 6 of 10 attempts from the field and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
"I was in the gym all week and definitely prepared for this game alongside my teammates," Barrett said. "I felt confident in shooting and I was feeling it tonight. I know my first responsibility is to get my teammates open, and once the ball comes back to me and I'm open, I'm going to shoot it every time. We need to execute Thursday night and come out with a lot of intensity on offense and on the defensive end."
Sophomore sharpshooter Jonah Antonio went off for 18 points, five boards and a pair of assists for South Plains, chipping in 6 of 13 shots and was 6-for-12 from behind the arc. Charles Jennings poured in 16 points on 5 of 7 shooting for the Texans while Trey Wade dropped in 12 points, eight rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.
The Texans (23-4, 12-3) recorded 20 points off 10 forced turnovers and outscored the Bulldogs 34-22 in the paint. South Plains utilized a balanced attack on the offensive end, receiving 43 points off the bench and would go on to lead by as much as 38 late in the final frame.
"I thought we fought tonight and this was a good win for us heading into Thursday," Orlina said. "We need to follow the game plan against Odessa and we will be fine. All of us want to win and tomorrow we will get back to work. Right now, we're glad to win this one, and tomorrow we will be back in the gym and try to figure out how to pick up a win on the road."