ROSWELL — The top-ranked South Plains College men's basketball team closed out a stint of four games over an eight day stretch, defeating New Mexico Military Institute 81-71 at the Godfrey Athletic Center Monday.
The Texans will be off Thursday, returning to the hardwood on Saturday at the Texan Dome against New Mexico Military Institute, with tip slated for 3:45 p.m.
South Plains (15-0, 9-0) had four players net double figures and shot 50 percent from the field in the second half after leading by just two, 45-43 at the midway point. Yuot Gai, who finished with 14 points and nine boards gave the Texans some breathing room at the 12:25 mark of the second half, dropping in a triple to put South Plains up 59-50.
Benjamin Bayela would cap a 20-9 run from the Texans with 8:35 to play, dropping in a trio of free throws to give South Plains a 69-54 lead. The Broncos would answer with a 9-0 run over the next two minutes, getting within six, 69-63 on a jumper from Khaleb Wilson. The Texans would respond with a 10-3 run, extending their lead to 79-66 following a dunk from Gai with 1:39 to play.
Rivaldo Soares led the Texans with 22 points, nine rebounds and five assists as the 6-foot-7 guard from Boston was 8 of 12 from the floor and 4 of 6 from distance. Gebrewhit posted 11 points and four assists, shooting 3 of 10 from the floor and 2 of 6 from distance. Myron Gardner tallied 10 points, nine rebounds, and five assists while Benjamin Bayela finished with nine points and nine rebounds.
The Texans shot 45 percent from the field and 50 percent from behind the arc while forcing the Broncos to shoot just 34 percent and 21.4 percent from 3. With the win, South Plains holds a one game lead over Odessa in the WJCAC with four regular season games remaining. Following Saturday's contest, South Plains will host Midland on March 25, before closing out the regular season on the road at Frank Phillips on March 29, and will travel to Odessa on April 1.