LEVELLAND — The No. 18-ranked South Plains College men's basketball team fell to the New Mexico Institute Broncos 60-57 on Thursday night at the Texan Dome despite overcoming a nine-point second half deficit.
South Plains moves to 10-6 on the season and 2-2 in the WJCAC and will be back on the hardwood on Monday night when they host New Mexico Junior College at 7:30 p.m., followed by a home matchup against Midland College on Jan. 20. Both games will stream live at spctexans.com and can be heard locally on KLVT Radio Levelland AM1230.
Leading 34-31 at the midway point, the Broncos extended their lead to nine, 42-33 on an Andrew Cotton' triple with 16:42 left in the contest. The Texans would trim the gap to 51-48 over the next eight minutes as Paul Person brought the Texans within striking distance on a layup for 7:59 left.
South Plains would take its first lead of the second half on a 3-ball from Rivaldo Soares with just under six minutes to play as the Texans went up 55-52. The Broncos would answer back with 2:45 remaining as Furaha Cadeaux de Dieu hit a runner to put his team back up 60-57. That would prove to be enough in the end as neither would score in the final minutes as the Broncos escaping down the stretch.
Soares would finish with a team-high 13 points and four rebounds, bucketing 5 of 14 shots from the floor and was 3 of 10 from distance. Benjamin Bayela tallied 12 points and a pair of rebounds for South Plains over 18 minutes, dropping in 4 of 11 shots from the field as the Texans shot 36.7 percent as a team and just 29.6 percent from the 3-point line.
Cotton led all scorers with 18 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, netting 7 of 20 shots from the field and was 4-for-12 from 3. Cadeaux de Dieu chipped in 16 points and seven rebounds while Osborn Shema had 14 points and five rebounds. The Broncos shot 36.1 percent from the field and were 6 of 28 from the 3-point line.