Down 36-24 with 6 minutes and 14 seconds to go in the first half, Brandon Thompson andGreg Gainey led the Texans right back into the ballgame. Over the next 2 minutes and 45 seconds Thompson nailed three of his game high nine 3-point buckets, while Gainey dominated the paint to add six points to bring the Texans to within three, 40-37 with 3:31 to go. The Texans would go on to end the half by outscoring the Cougars 27-6 over that final 6+ minutes to take a 51-42 lead to the locker room.
South Plains College would quickly extend that lead by opening the second half with a 14-4 run and would not see less than a 12 point lead for the remainder of the contest and led by as many as 26 points.
Thompson and Gainey were dominant for SPC. Shooting 11-of-20 from the field, including 9-of-15 from downtown, Thompson would finish the game with a team high 31 points. Gainey finished with 27 points on 12-of-16 shooting that included some crowd pleasing dunks. Gainey also snagged a team high eight rebounds.
As a team, the Texans attempted 79 shots, 25 more than their opponent, making 39 to finish just under 50-percent. SPC out-rebounded Coastal Bend on the offensive side of the ball 20-14, but the key to the game might have been the full court pressure the Texan defense applied that led to 32 Cougar turnovers and 28 Texan steals. South Plains also protected the basketball, turning the ball over a season low eight times.
The Texans now look forward to some time off for the holidays and will return to action January 3rd for the first-of-four games to be played in the Phoenix, Arizona area, beginning with Chandler College at 5 p.m. CST. South Plains will follow with games at Scottsdale College, Phoenix College, and Mesa Community College.
The Texans will return to the Texan Dome on January 13th for their home conference opener against No. 18 Midland College.