ROSWELL, New Mexico — Deshawn Corprew netted 21 points and grabbed six boards and Ben Perez poured in 19 points knocking down 6 of 10 attempts from the 3-point line as the South Plains College men's basketball team ousted the New Mexico Military Institute Broncos 78-75 Monday night at the Cahoon Armory.
South Plains improves to 17-7 on the season and 9-3 in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference and will host New Mexico Junior College at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15 on Hockley County Schools Employee Credit Union Night at the Texan Dome.
"They made some shots there at the end and we obviously made some elementary mistakes, but we were fortunate the other 39 minutes and 55 seconds counted tonight," South Plains head coach Steve Green said. "They had one guy in particular we knew could make shots, and I guess we were looking for reaffirmation. We have to get back and get in position and get ready, and we act like we're surprised when they score. It's just a matter of preparation and defensive intelligence."
Leading 35-29 at the break, South Plains ran off a 20-9 run to begin the second half, capped by 3 from Keith McGee with 12:23 remaining to put the Texans up 55-38. The Broncos answered with a 17-10 run to pull within 10 following a pair of free throws from Jordyn Owens that trimmed the deficit to 65-55 with 5:12 to go.
Following a two-handed slam from McGee which put South Plains up 76-64 with 2:02 left, New Mexico Military would string together a 9-0 run as they pulled within 3 on an Owen's 3-ball with 41 ticks left. Corprew would be fouled on the following possession as he hit the back end of a pair of free throws to push South Plains' lead to 77-73 with 29 seconds left.
Sophomore Raymond Doby would hit one of two free throws to put South Plains up 78-73 with under 10 seconds to play following a Jaylan Williams's missed 3, but the Broncos' Rosel Hurley drained a triple with four seconds remaining to bring the score to 78-75. NMMI would force a turnover at midcourt on the inbounds, but a last-second prayer from Owens fell short as the Broncos move to 15-11 on the year and 5-7 in conference play.
McGee totaled 12 points, knocking down 5 of 6 attempts from the floor and was 2-for-2 from the 3-point line. Christopher Orlina chipped in 11 points and dished out a game-high seven assists while Isaiah Maurice scored six and Will Washington netted four.
Owens led all scorers with 23 points to go along with six rebounds and two assists. Williams tallied 18 points and five boards for the Broncos, pouring in five 3s in the contest. Atem Bior finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds and Hurley totaled 13 points and seven boards for NMMI.
"Ben has been shooting the ball well in practice, and I thought he had a good offensive first half," Green said. "Keith also had a great ball game tonight, and without him, I don't know what would have happened. Considering what he was saddled with tonight, I thought Keith played really well and didn't turn the ball over."