LEVELLAND — The South Plains College men's basketball team fell to Howard College 80-60 Thursday night at the Texan Dome as the Hawks shot 55 percent from the floor with four players scoring in double figures.
Amari McCray netted 18 points and eight rebounds for Howard who moves to 19-6 on the year and 7-4 in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference. Jeremy Hayes tallied 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Hawks over 38 minutes. Derrick Green poured in 16 points and Jake Hutchings was 6-for-12 from the field as he chipped in 14 points and grabbed five boards.
Trailing 39-23 at the midway point, South Plains' Jordan Brangers brought the Texans within 10, 42-32 with a triple from the left wing with 17:51 left. Howard answered when Hutchings converted at the rim with 15:20 to go to push the lead to 12, 46-34.
Brangers would bring South Plains within nine, 46-37, with a 3 from the top of the key with 14:50 remaining, but a 3 from Hayes with 10:57 to play extended the Hawks' lead to 52-39. Hayes would sink another 3-ball with 9:54 to go to push the lead to 14, 55-41 as Howard continued to have success on the offensive end down the stretch.
South Plains shot just 36.8 percent from the floor and 26 percent from 3 in the contest. Howard posted a 51.9 percent mark from the field in the second half despite shooting just 35 percent from 3 throughout.
Brangers finished with 22 points on 8 of 20 shooting from the floor, while sophomore Raymond Doby bucketed 16 points and grabbed five boards for South Plains. William Washington tallied 11 points, knocking down 4 of 8 attempts from the floor and Deshawn Corprew finished with six.
Now 16-7 on the year and 8-3 in the WJCAC, South Plains will look to get back to their winning ways on Monday when they travel to Roswell, New Mexico to take on New Mexico Military Institute at 6:30 p.m. MST. The game will be streaming live at spctexans.com as Michael Wiiest of KLVT Radio Levelland will call the courtside action.