LEWISVILLE — The third-ranked South Plains College men's basketball team picked up an 80-70 win in their season opener over Lamar Port Arthur on Saturday at the Texas East-West Challenge.
South Plains' Jordan Brangers led all scorers with 25 points, 14 of which came in the back half of the contest. Sophomore Greg Shead finished the contest with 11 points and was 7 of 8 from the charity stripe. Jamir Coleman and Isaiah Maurice each had 11 points for the Texans (1-0), while Deshawn Corprew finished with 10 points and Chris Orlina chipped in nine.
"I think we played well on the offensive side but we can always find things we can work on and improve," Shead said. "Coach Green wants us to push the tempo on offense, and this was the first game for a lot of these guys and we can look back at this one and continue to work on our game and what we want to accomplish. It's a long season and it's always good to pick up the first win of the season."
The Texans used a 15-6 run to begin the contest capped off by a 3-ball from Brangers with 13:02 to play before the break. South Plains utilized a pair of jumpers late in the first half to take a 35-23 in the locker room at the midway point.
A 3-pointer from Corprew from the left wing capped off an 8-2 run from the Texans to begin the second half, extending the lead to 43-25. Brangers would push the Texans' lead to 15 with a 3 from the top of the key with 5:04 to play.
"I was just trying to stay aggressive on the offensive end and was able to find some open looks thanks to my teammates," Brangers said. "My teammates really helped me open things up a lot and find the basket. I think we came out somewhat confident and were able to pick up a big win for us. Getting that first game out of the way and getting on the right track is always important, and we will try to take the same mindset into tomorrow's game."
Kolbe Littlefield, who led the Seahawks(0-1) with 21 points brought his team within nine with 1:25 remaining with a 3-pointer from the wing, but it wouldn't be enough as the Texans hit a trio of free-throws down the stretch to seal the win. South Plains will be back on the hardwood on Sunday when they take on Angelina at 1 p.m.
"I think we had two good spurts where we pushed the lead to as much as 18 and never let them get within 10 until the end of the game," South Plains head coach Steve Green said. "We missed some shots that we're used to making and at times it hurt us on the other end of the floor. When things are not always going well guys start resorting back to what they know and have a tendency to try and to do too much on their own. I think we struggled at times with our transition offense and we definitely have some areas where we can improve."