LIBERAL, KS — Gaige Prim scored a season-high 31 points as the second-ranked South Plains College men's basketball team held off a late surge from Seward County to clip the Saints 79-76 Friday night at the Greenhouse.
South Plains improves to 3-0 on the year and will return to the hardwood on Saturday at 4 p.m. against Dodge City. The game will be streaming live at spctexans.com.
Leading 78-76 with 13 seconds to play, a steal from Seward's Montrevion Flowers gave the Saints a chance to tie or go ahead in the final seconds. Following a Seward timeout, Flowers took the ball off the inbound and drove to the basket, meeting Prim at the rim as the 6-foot-9 center from Aurora, Colorado rejected Flowers with four seconds remaining as Prim grabbed the defensive board and sealed the game for South Plains.
"I saw him (Flowers) go to the back door off the inbound and I knew he wasn't going to waste any time once he got the ball," Prim said. "Luckily I was able to time the block right and grab the rebound and protect our lead. A win like this can really help our confidence down the road when face a similar situation because we will know we can go on the road in a tough environment and find a way to win."
Prim finished 11 of 14 from the floor, 6 of 8 from the free throw line and was a perfect 3-for-3 from the 3-point line. South Plains received 27 points off the bench, 16 coming via Charles Jennings who bucketed 16 points and three assists on 6 of 14 shooting in 13 minutes of action. Sophomore Trey Wade finished with 10 points and four boards for the Texans while Jonah Antonio tallied nine and Trevin Wade netted six points, two assists, and two steals.
South Plains shot 46.4 percent (26-56) from the floor and 35.7 percent (10-28) from the 3-point line. Seward (2-1) shot 49.1 percent from the field and netted 44 points inside the paint, outrebounding the Texans 38-29 on the glass.
Isiah Small led the Saints in scoring with 27 points on 11 of 16 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and three assists over 34 minutes. Flowers tallied 12 points for Seward, bucketing five of his eight attempts, while Hegel Augustin netted 11 and Reggie Miller scored four points and grabbed six boards.
"We saw what they were doing on defense and just tried to get to work early on," Prim said. "We tried to take our time and not rush anything and tonight was a good test for us against a good program. Jonah knocked down a couple 3s and Jennings game off the bench and had a huge game for us, and stuff like that is going to keep us rolling."