One week after hosting the Thunderbird Classic, New Mexico Junior College is hosting another tournament, this time the HydroTech Classic, and the Thunderbirds opened tournament play with a 95-72 win over Louisiana Christian Prep Thursday night.
The Thunderbirds never trailed, but the game was tied twice.
NMJC led by as many as 10 points midway through the first half, but the Thunderbirds did allow the Cyclones to climb back into the game late and tie it up. NMJC reestablished the lead, but again Louisiana Christian was able to re-tie the game. Still, NMJC was able to go into the break with a 42-37 lead.
NMJC pulled away after the break as Louisiana Christian Prep never got close to the Thunderbirds in the second half.
New Mexico Junior College started pulling away midway through the second half when the Thunderbirds pushed their lead to 15 points, 68-53. Roosevelt Smart sank a pair of treys and then hit a layup with 11:40 left in the half. By the 3:46 mark of the second half, NMJC led by 16 when Xabier Gomez put the Thunderbirds up 86-70 with a steal and a layup. Smart then put the game out of reach minutes later when he put NMJC up by 23, 95-72 with 27 seconds left in the game. Smart actually scored the Thunderbirds final seven points.
NMJC had five players with double figure scoring.
Smart led all scorers with 27 points, while coming in off the bench. Smart had 21 of his points come in the second half. He sank three treys and went 6 -of - 7 at the line.
Louisiana Christian Prep had two players score in double figures during the first half, Kevonte Wilson and Terrance Henderson as each player had 10 points. Wilson did not score at all in the second half. Henderson finished with 14 points whle Taye Green had 19 of his team-high 20 points in the second half.
NMJC improves to 3-1 oon the season and will be back on the court tonight when the Thunderbirds host Impact Academy at 7P.