LEVELLAND — Isaiah Maurice recorded his third double-double of the season, netting 14 points to go along with 13 rebounds as the South Plains College men's basketball team improved to 6-1 in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference with an 81-55 thrashing of Clarendon on Thursday night at the Texan Dome.
With the win, South Plains (14-5) stays within one game of conference leader Odessa College (18-2, 7-0), who the Texans will visit on Monday in a contest between WJCAC perennial powers.
"I think our team is slowly coming around to realizing that is the mismatch, the advantage we have on most people in our league is that we're bigger," South Plains head coach Steve Green said. "We've been a guard-oriented team for so long, but we do have some weapons inside."
South Plains shot 48 percent from the field including a 42 percent clip from behind the arc. The Texans controlled the paint earning a 56-39 rebound advantage on the glass. Raymond Doby ended the night with 15 points on 5 of 9 shooting from the floor and also grabbed seven boards.
Ben Perez led all scorers with 17 points, knocking down 6 of 7 attempts from the floor and was 3 of 4 from the perimeter. Jamir Coleman tallied 10 points and five boards over 13 minutes while Keith McGee chipped in six points and dished out three assists.
"Coach Green always emphasizes to box out and rebound, and that's been one of our emphasis this year," Maurice said. "Me and Ray talk about it, doing our job on the glass and letting the game come to us on the offensive end. We will win a lot more games if me and Ray dedicate ourselves to crashing the glass and keeping those guys off the offensive boards and limiting second-chance points."
South Plains forced Clarendon to shoot a season-low 28 percent from the floor and 16 percent from 3. DJ White and Reece Brooks each netted 11 points for the Bulldogs (14-7, 4-3) while Ellis Jefferson chipped in eight and Xavier Trent scored seven. Clarendon was held under 30 percent shooting from the floor in both the first and second half, committing 12 turnovers in the contest and were 2-for-15 from the perimeter in the second half.
Now winners of five of their last six, South Plains will look to slow down an Odessa team averaging 95 points per game with three players averaging more than 10 points per game. Monday's game will be streaming live at spctexans.com and Michael Wiiest of KLVT Radio Levelland will call the courtside action with tipoff slated for 7:30 p.m.
"We're a game behind, and we need to go down to Odessa and try to win a tough game," Green said. "That's why I scheduled Southern Idaho, that's why I scheduled Indian Hills, and that's why I scheduled Snow. You schedule those so you can go and try and beat a team like Odessa on the road."