BIG SPRING—That's a wrap.
The top-ranked South Plains College Texans rode Roberto Gallinat's 19-point performance to a 71-51 victory over Howard College on Monday night at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum to improve to 26-0 overall and 14-0 in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference.
Is wasn't the only victory for the Texans on Monday night as No. 18 Odessa fell to Western Texas 77-75, knocking the Wranglers out of contention for a split of the conference crown and allowing the Texans to officially take claim to the title of 2016-2017 WJCAC conference champions.
"I'm really proud of what we accomplished to this point, as it was one of our goals to win a conference championship," said South Plains head coach Steve Green, who wrapped up his seventh conference title at the helm of the Texans program on Monday. "Our next goal is to win the league undefeated, and we have two more games to try and put that on our resume.
"I think they're all special, but we have short term memories, and the one you're currently involved in is the most satisfying. These guys are pretty resilient, and they kept fighting last night and remained aggressive. We finally found somebody that could make some baskets and build the lead."
South Plains led by just seven at the midway point after shooting just 39 percent from the floor. The Hawks didn't fare any better as they shot just 23 percent in the first half and 25 percent in the contest. The Texans began to find their rhythm on the offensive end in the final 20 minutes shooting 48 percent from the field in the back half.
"I felt like we were playing their type of game in the first half, and we came out in the second half and started playing our type of basketball," Gallinat said. "Winning a game like this shows us how we have to adapt and we have room to improve. We had to keep them from trying to slow down the game and speed it up in our favor. We just need to take it one game at a time and listen to our coaches."
Jordan Brangers and Josh Webster each finished with 11 points for South Plains, while Raquan Mitchell added seven and Jahlil Tripp chipped in six. The Texans will look to finish out the regular season unbeaten when they host Clarendon on Thursday night at the Texan Dome, followed by a matchup with Western Texas on March 2 at the Dome.
"We got the job done tonight and did what we needed to do to get a win," Webster said. "We knew Howard was going to try and slow us down and try to make it hard on us to score and get in a rhythm. We just stayed poised and stayed focused and pushed the tempo. We have a lot of talent on this team and we just need to stay focused on our main goal which is the national championship."