ODESSA — Had to have it.
With South Plains leading 66-65 with just seven seconds remaining, Odessa would put the ball into the hands of Joe Kasperzyk for their final shot. Kasperzyk attempted to drive inside but was met by the Texans' Yuot Gai who blocked Kasperzyk's layup attempt with a second to play as South Plains would hold off the Wranglers 68-65 down the stretch to improve to 14-6 on the season and 6-2 in the WJCAC.
Trailing 35-27 at the break, Odessa would get within four with 12:34 to play on a Tavon Jones' layup off the glass. The Wranglers (10-11, 3-5) would then take their first lead of the second half, 43-42 on a Victor Rosario' 3 with 11:04 to play in the contest.
Trailing 49-42 with just under 10 minutes to go, Benjamin Bayela would answer back for South Plains with a 3 from the top of the key to bring the Texans within four, 49-45. Rivaldo Soares would then trim the deficit to 51-48 with a triple from the right corner with 8:19 to play in the game. The Texans' Jevonnie Scott would tie the game at 51 all with a 3-ball from the left corner, his third of the game with 7:40 to play.
Paul Person would then give South Plains a 56-55 lead, one they would not relinquish down the stretch as the 6-foot guard from the Bronx hit from distance from the top of the key with just over six minutes to go.
Scott would lead all scorers with 13 points on 5 of 10 shooting and was 3-for-4 from the perimeter over 20 minutes for South Plains. Bayela finished with 12 points and four boards and was 6 of 7 from the free throw line in 23 minutes of action. Soares chipped in 11 points, four assists, and three rebounds as the Texans shot a 39 percent clip from the floor and 37.5 percent from distance.
Mam Ayuel notched 11 points and four rebounds for Odessa while Kasperzyk chipped in 11 points and grabbed four boards coming off the bench for Wranglers. Odessa shot 36.5 percent from the floor and was 10 of 35 from the perimeter.
South Plains will be back on the road on Thursday when they travel to Big Spring to take on Howard College with tip slated for 7:30 p.m.