LEVELLAND, Texas—Jordan Brangers totaled 23 points and Jahlil Tripp finished with 12 as the fifth-ranked South Plains College Texans improved to 10-0 on the season and 2-0 in conference play following a 90-66 shellacking of Frank Phillips College on Saturday at the Texan Dome.
"I felt like we started a little slow, but once we got in the groove we started playing together, we started to get some stops and make it easy for us," said Brangers, who was 9-of-18 from the field and 5-of-13 from the 3-point line. "They tried to slow us down from the start knowing we like to make stops and score at a fast pace. Coach Green said at halftime to 'come out the first five minutes and speed things up and play our game.'"
Brangers ended the Plainsmen' 8-4 run to open the contest with a 3 from the right wing to bring the Texans within one, 8-7. Brangers hit another trey at the 15:40 mark of the first half to tie the game at 10 a piece. A 3-pointer from Grantham Gillard with 10:20 left gave South Plains an 18-17 advantage.
Freshman Greg Shead converted at the rim to push the Texans lead to 23-17 with 9:30 remaining before the break. Shead would then dish out to Justice Green in the left corner and Green would connect from behind the arc to give the Texans a 31-22 lead with under three minutes to play in the first 20 minutes.
"I felt like we started off a little slow, but once we got our pace going we got on our normal routine," said Green, who finished with 11 points and three rebounds. "We found the open man and knocked down shots. We just needed to get stops, and that's what we talked about halftime. We needed to limit them to one shot and get rebounds."
South Pains opened up its lead to 42-26 early in the second half on a Josh Webster steal and conversion at the bucket with 18:14 remaining. Brangers, who scored in double figures for the ninth time this season, hit a 3 from the right wing and pushed the lead to 55-36.
Green would then connect from the perimeter with 6:25 left and give the Texans a 65-46 advantage. Brangers would cap off the night with a 3 from the corner and put the Texans up 82-60 with under two minutes to play.
"I thought given the circumstances and the way they wanted to play, walking it up and taking all the air out, to score 90 points and basically have a comfortable lead the whole night, when you look at the end of it you have to be happy about it," South Plains head coach Steve Green said. "It wasn't a lot of fun along the way, but they were down to nine players with some injuries, and I think they did the smart thing against us. But, we won, we're 10-0 and it's Christmas."
As winners of 10 straight including two critical conference games in the win column, the Texans will take a three-week break before heading to Mesa, Arizona on Dec.28-Dec.30 for the 2016 Fiesta Bowl Tournament. The Texans will enter the tournament as the defending champions after going unbeaten in Mesa last season.
"I'm really looking forward to it," Steve Green said. "It's a fun trip, and should we win the first game we get maybe Salt Lake who's the defending national champions. It will be a really good tournament."