SNYDER — The top-ranked South Plains College men's basketball team had five players score in double figures as the Texans rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit to top Western Texas College 80-70 Thursday night at the Coliseum.
Trailing 39-28 early in the second half, South Plains ripped off an 11-1 run to get within a single point following a 3-ball from the top of the key from Myron Gardner to bring the score to 40-39 in favor of the Westerners with 14:53 to play. The Texans would go on to take their first lead of the contest at the 11:04 mark of the second half on a dunk from sophomore Jevonnie Scott to put the Texans up 50-49.
South Plains (7-0, 2-0) continued to find its stroke down the stretch, utilizing a 13-2 run to take a 63-51 lead with just under eight minutes to go on a triple from Philmon Gebrewhit. Western Texas would get within striking distance on a 3 from CJ Smith to bring the score to 73-67 with 2:22 to go, but a jumper from the Texans' Dalph Panopio with 58 ticks left put South Plains back up 10, 78-68.
Gardner would finish with a team-high 18 points, his sixth game in double figures this season, knocking down 6 of 13 shots from the floor coming off the bench for South Plains. Sophomore Rivaldo Soares netted 17 points and six rebounds, shooting a 4 of 8 clip from distance over 38 minutes. Panopio tallied 16 points and three assists, connecting on 6 of 13 shots including a trio of 3s.
Gebrewhit poured in 14 points and snagged five boards, connecting on 5 of 7 shots from the field and was 2 of 4 from the 3-point line. Scott chipped in 10 points over 20 minutes as the Texans shot 41.9 percent from the floor and dropped in 13 3-pointers in the contest.
South Plains returns to the hardwood on Monday, squaring off with Clarendon College at 7:30 p.m. at the Texan Dome.