LEVELLAND – Emmanuel Omogbo came off the bench to score a team high 14 points to lead four players scoring in double figures, and the South Plains College Texans held off New Mexico Military to win 60-50 and give head coach Steve Green his 500th career head coaching victory.
In his 14th year coaching the Texans and 20th season overall as a head coach in the NJCAA, Green has a record of 500-138 in stints that also include head coaching stops at Howard and Midland.
The Texans did not exactly make it an easy victory. After building an 11-point halftime lead, South Plains allowed the Broncos to get back to within three late in the game.
Trailing by 10, Marcus Roper and Antonio Manns hit a pair of 3s and Dane Williams converted a steal into an easy basket to help the Broncos go on an 8-1 run and make it a game at 45-42 with 8:26 left on the clock.
South Plains (23-4, 10-3 WJCAC) gathered themselves and regrouped to push their advantage back to double digits.
Omogbo made two free throws, Ryan Martin put back an Omogbo miss and added a free throw following a foul and Andre Spight hit a 3 that sparked a 14-2 run that gave the Texans a 15-point lead in the game's final minutes.
Roderick Lawrence scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds, Spight added 12, and Ryan Martin chipped in with a double double of 11 points and 10 rebounds to help the Texans remain in a tie with Howard College for first place in the conference standings.
The Hawks defeated Odessa with 78-76 thanks to a half-court buzzer beater in a conference showdown at the OC Sports Center. If the two teams remain tied at the end of the season, South Plains would own any tiebreakers due to a season sweep of the Hawks.
Five teams remain in the hunt for four play-off spots. New Mexico moves to third in the standings – at least temporarily – and Odessa falls to fourth. Western Texas lurks just behind in fifth. New Mexico is hosting a late game versus Midland and, therefore, could fall into a tie for third with Odessa if they lose to the Chaps. Western Texas is idle tonight.
South Plains is down to the final three games of their regular season schedule and will host Frank Phillips at 7:45 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, before traveling to Midland Monday, Feb. 24 for their final road trip. On Feb. 27, the Texans will host Odessa.
Wounded Warriors Honored
At halftime of the Texans game versus New Mexico Military, South Plains College had the honor of hosting and recognizing two very special guests as Wounded Warrior Project Alumni Sgt. Jason Lilley and Corporal Anthony Villarreal were in attendance at the Texan Dome.
Sgt. Lilley served the United States of America as a member of the Marine Corps from 2001-2007 with deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and was part of the Iraq invasion in 2003 as a Huey Door Gunner. After being medically separated in 2007, Lilley went back to Iraq, and then Afghanistan, as a civilian contractor.
Corporal Villarreal also served the United States of America as a member of the Marine Corps, serving from 2004-2010 with two deployments to Iraq and another in Afghanistan. Corporal Villarreal was severely injured on June 20, 2008, when his truck was hit by a roadside bomb during a mission in Afghanistan.
Both Warriors reside in Lubbock and Villarreal, along with his wife, attends classes at South Plains College.
WJCAC Scores: South Plains 60, NMMI 50; Howard 78, Odessa 76; Frank Phillips 87, Clarendon 73; Midland at New Mexico JC
New Mexico Military Insti (12-13, 2-11)
Marcus Roper 8-15 5-6 23, Ronell Abaekobe 0-3 0-0 0, Shaquan Rhoades 1-8 2-2 4, Kelfala Mansaray 0-0 0-0 0, Anthony Davis 0-2 0-0 0, T'Alai' Joseph 0-0 0-0 0, Weston Zeller 0-1 2-2 2, Dane Williams 3-8 0-0 7, Antonio Manns 5-16 1-5 12, Mario Karailiev 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 18-56 10-15 50
South Plains (23-4, 10-3)
Andre Spight 5-9 0-0 12, Billydee Williams 1-4 1-2 3, Sekou Harris 0-3 0-0 0, Malik Nichols 2-2 1-2 5, Clayton Jones 0-2 2-2 2, Emmanuel Omogbo 4-4 6-8 14, Roderick Lawrence 5-17 2-5 13, Cedrick McAfee 0-0 0-0 0, Ryan Martin 4-8 3-5 11, Michael Karena 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-49 15-24 60
SCORE BY PERIODS
New Mexico Military Insti
FG%: New Mexico Military Insti .321, South Plains .429. 3-pt FG:New Mexico Military Insti 4-18 (Roper 2-5, Rhoades 0-4, Zeller 0-1, Williams 1-4, Manns 1-4), South Plains 3-20 (Spight 2-4, Williams 0-1, Harris 0-2, Jones 0-2, Lawrence 1-11). Rebounds: New Mexico Military Insti 26 (Manns 7), South Plains 38 (Martin 10). Fouls New Mexico Military Insti 19, South Plains 17. Fouled out: Roper Nichols . Technical: MCAFEE. Assists: New Mexico Military Insti 6 (Roper 2, Manns 2), South Plains 9 (Harris 4). Steals: New Mexico Military Insti 6 (Manns 2), South Plains 8 (Spight 3). Blocked shots: New Mexico Military Insti 2 (Roper 1, Karailiev 1), South Plains 2 (Omogbo 1, Martin 1). Turnovers: New Mexico Military Insti 11, South Plains 13.