Article Written by: Jason Farmer NEWS-SUN
Photos Taken by: Tony Baker NMTXsports.com
The New Mexico Junior College men's basketball team had its seven-game winning streak snapped Friday night. Back on the court Saturday, the Thunderbirds were not about to make it two losses in a row as NMJC crushed Ranger College's junior varsity squad 88-54.
The Thunderbirds were originally scheduled to play Fort Carson, but the team was from a military school and the players were deployed.
New Mexico Junior College built up a huge first half lead as the Thunderbirds scored nearly as many points in the opening 20 minutes of play as Ranger College's JV scored the entire game. The Thunderbirds dropped in 52 points in the first 20 minutes, while holding the JV Rangers to 19 points.
Scoring was much closer in the second half, but the Thunderbirds already had the game well under control. NMJC outscored Ranger's JV squad 36-35 over the final 20 minutes of play.
New Mexico Junior College opened the game with an 8-0 run and never looked back. Kene Chukwuka sank a trey with 12:26 left in the half to give NMJC a 19-9 lead. Emmanuel Ansah then hit a layup with 11:33 left in the half to put the Thunderbirds up 21-9. With just under half of the opening half to play, NMJC already had more points than Ranger College JV would the entire first half of play.
Eight of the JV Rangers' points in the first half came from the charity stripe.
The Thunderbirds had five different players score in double figures, three starters and two players off the bench. Additionally, every member of the NMJC men's team contributed in the scoring column in Saturday's win.
Josiah Spencer came in off the bench and tied for the game-high in scoring with 14 points. Ranger College's JV' Nick Ransom also came off the bench and had 14 points.
Damontre Hawes scored six points and led the Thunderbirds with four assists while Mawien had a game-high secen rebounds. Hajo Jawara Finished with half of the Thunderbirds six blocked shots while Xabier Gomez, DeVante Waldon, and Olden each had two steals. As a team, the Thunderbirds finished with nine steals.
With the win, New Mexico Junior College improves to 9-2 on the season. The Thunderbirds will now prepare to begin conference play. First up is Odessa College on Wednesday. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at Caster Activity Center.