LEVELLAND — The third-ranked South Plains College men's basketball team placed three players in double figures as they torched the North Lake College Blazers 79-59 on Friday night at the Texan Dome to improve to 3-2 on the year.
Isaiah Maurice led all scorers with 15 points on 7 of 8 shooting from the floor. Ben Perez and Marcel Thompson each chipped in 11 points and combined for five 3s. Perez also tallied six boards in 25 minutes. Deshawn Corprew totaled nine points and corralled four rebounds and Greg Shead added eight points and dished out a game-high seven assists.
"For the first time this year we had everyone and got some contributions from guys who came off the bench," South Plains head coach Steve Green said. "We've been pretty inconsistent lately and we're still searching around trying to find some combinations. We have to have better execution on the other end of the floor and can't have the silly turnovers that we had. We have to get a whole lot smarter than what we are. We have a long way to go."
The two teams traded buckets through the first nine minutes before the Texans eventually jumped out to an 18-11 lead on a Christian Wilson 3-ball with 11:17 left in the first half. Christopher Orlina pushed the lead to 13 on a pair of free throws with under nine minutes before the break. Perez hit a jumper from 14-feet to extend the lead to 16 with under four minutes to play. South Plains carried a 40-30 lead into the break after shooting 46 percent from the floor in the first half.
"Coach has been putting emphasis on defense and sharing the ball, and to be honest we didn't do very well compared to what we could have done tonight," Perez said. "We tried to play inside out, and once we kicked it inside our big guys did a good job getting it back out to us which opened up some shots."
South Plains held steady in the back half as they would go up 51-35 with 15:11 left on a Maurice put back. The Texans went on to lead by as much as 22 in the second half as they shot 53 percent from the field and knocked down five 3s in the final frame.
"We tried to move the ball and get the open look which is something we have been focusing on," Thompson said. "We have to work on playing team defense on the other end to create stops and get the ball back to our offense. We have to come with even more intensity tomorrow and try to pick up another win."
South Plains will tipoff against Collin County at 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Texan Dome. The game will be streaming live at spctexans.com and Michael Wiiest of KLVT Radio Levelland will call the courtside action.