Slow start dooms T-Birds in 96-88 loss

Slow start dooms T-Birds in 96-88 loss

Article Written by: Jason Farmer NEWS-SUN

Photo Taken by: Tony Baker

The New Mexico Junior College men's basketball team dug itself a big hole in the first half. The Thunderbirds trailed by as many as 12 points in the opening half and got within one a few times, but never led in the first 20 minutes on the way to a 96-88 loss Wednesday night.

While the Thunderbirds couldn't get a lead, or a tie, in the first half, they did grab a lead in the second half. NMJC opened the second half with a 15-4 run to take a 51-44 lead with 15:55 left on the clock.

However, the Thunderbirds were unable to maintain the lead. As soon as the Thunderbirds went up by seven points, Odessa College called a timeout. Following that break, the Wranglers 11-2 run to retake the lead. NMJC wouldn't lead the rest of the night.

The Thunderbirds managed to tie the game again, late in the second half at 67-67 with 6:06 to play. Emmanuel Ansah sank a trey for the Thunderbirds to tie the game. But, as quickly as NMJC tied it, Odessa responded with a 7-0 run to reestablish the lead. After NMJC scored, Odessa went on another run, this time a 10-0 run, pushing its lead over NMJC to 84-69. The 15-point deficit was the Thunderbirds largest of the game.

The Thunderbirds fell behind quickly in the first half as Odessa scored the games first six points. When NMJC finally got on the board it came on a pair of free throws from Shawn Olden. The ThuConference play 0-1. Next up for the Thunderbirds is Western Texas College on Saturday, Play is set to tip off at 4 p.m. nderbirds battled Odessa, getting within two points at 10-8 with 16-15 left in the opening half, but were unable to tie the game.

With 11:39 left in the first half, the Thunderbirds had fallen behind by 12, Odessa's largest lead of the half. Once again, the Thunderbirds came battling back, getting within one point twice in the final five minutes.

Roosevelt Smart led all scorers with 30 points. Smart sank five treys. Olden chipped four treys and had 23 points while Makol Mawien finished with 11 points. Hawes led NMJC with 11 rebounds.

Odessa College had four players in double figures. Sammy Barnes-Thompkins led the Wranglers with 26 points. Marlon Hunter and Delshon Stickland each had 20 while Jeremiah Livingston contributed 14.

With the loss, NMJC falls to 9-3 on the season and opens Western Junior College Athletic