HOBBS — The No. 20 South Plains College men's basketball team was unable to recover from a slow start in the first half as they fell to New Mexico Junior College 80-66 Thursday night at Ron Black Court.
The Texans move to 17-8 on the year and 9-4 in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference and will look to get back in the win column next Thursday when they travel to Midland to take on the Chaparrals at 7:30 p.m.
South Plains struggled to find its rhythm offensively in the first half as they shot just 28.6 percent from the floor and were 1 of 7 from distance in the first 20 minutes. The Thunderbirds took advantage on the offensive end, shooting 54.3 percent in the front half and were 6 of 9 from the 3-point line before the break.
Trailing 45-20 heading into the locker room, South Plains would come out and shoot 48.5 percent in the back half and would trim the deficit to 13 twice, but New Mexico continued to find success down the stretch as Terence Lewis and Keaton Hervey combined for 21 points in the final 20 minutes.
Rivaldo Soares led the Texans offensively with 20 points and five boards while Freddie De La Cruz netted 14 points and nine rebounds and Jevonnie Scott chipped in 13 points on 5 of 10 shooting from the floor.
Hervey would lead all scorers with 26 points, bucketing 10 of 15 shots over 35 minutes. Lewis netted 20 points and 14 rebounds while Gideon George totaled 14 points and seven rebounds.