MESA, AZ — Jonah Antonio finished with a career-high 24 points and seven rebounds, knocking down six 3s as the top-ranked South Plains College men's basketball team outlasted #7 Salt Lake 89-85 Friday night at Heap Gym in the second round of the Fiesta Bowl Junior College Shootout.
With the win, South Plains improves to 12-0 on the year and advances to the finals Saturday night at 8 p.m. MST where they will take on Seward County. In their previous matchup at Seward, the Texans knocked off the Saints 79-76 on Nov. 9. Saturday's contest will be streaming live at spctexans.com.
Trailing 46-42 with just over 17 minutes left in regulation, the Texans ripped off a 15-5 run capped by a jumper from Trey Wade with 13:08 to go which put the Texans up 57-51, a lead they would not relinquish over the final 13 minutes.
Trailing by as much as 13 with under six minutes remaining, the Bruins would pull within two on a Josh Colon' free throw with seven seconds to play, but a pair of free throws from Antonio following a foul on Asa McCord would push the Texans into the Fiesta Bowl title game for the second time in the last three years.
Antonio finished 8 of 16 from the field as South Plains shot 52.3 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from the 3-point line. Gaige Prim recorded 23 points on 9 of 10 shooting from the floor to go along with 13 rebounds and two blocked shots.
Wade tallied 14 points, five assists, and four boards as he sunk 6 of 10 attempts from the field over 33 minutes. Charles Jennings provided 10 points and four assists off the bench for the Texans while Deon Barett netted eight points and six assists and Chris Orlina finished with seven points and five boards.
South Plains would find success on both ends of the floor as they forced Salt Lake (12-3) to shoot just 37.7 percent from the field and an abysmal 6 of 32 from the 3-point line. The Texans forced 11 turnovers on the defensive end resulting in 22 points on the other end. In a game that was tied seven times and saw eight lead changes, the Texans netted 36 points inside the paint and bucketed 13 points on second-chance opportunities.
Cameron Mack led the Bruins with 25 points and 10 rebounds while Colon netted 13 points and Hunter Schofield finished with 12 points and three rebounds.