JASON FARMER/NEWS-SUN Marcell Haskett goes up for a shot during the first half os NMJC's loss to Odessa College Thursday night. Hackett led the T-Birds with 25 points.
The New Mexico Junior College men's basketball team played a close first half against first-place Odessa College Thursday, but the Thunderbirds couldn't carry that over to the second half as NMJC ran its losing streak to four straight Thursday by falling 95-84 to the Wranglers.
"This team is so close to being really good," NMJC men's coach Brian Lohrey said. "We saw a glimpse of it in the first half, and then the second half – I don't know if we run out of energy or whatever, but we just didn't quite defend the same way."
In the first half, the lead changed hands eight times and the game was tied four times. NMJC led by as many as eight while Odessa's largest lead was four points. When the half came to an end, the T-Birds trailed 36-35.
Odessa pulled away from NMJC in the second half. The T-Birds scored 49 points in the second half, but gave up 59.
"We scored 84 points, that should be enough," Lohrey said. "We just have to guard somebody in the second half."
"I thought there was only a couple of crazy shots that we took tonight that weren't good," Lohrey said. "For the most part, I thought our guys played unselfish tonight."
With the loss, NMJC falls to 13-8 on the year and 2-5 in Western Junior College Athletic Conference action while Odessa College remains perfect in WJCAC play and moves to 18-2 on the season. The T-Birds will continue their road trip on Monday with a game at Midland College. Tipoff is slated for a 6:30 p.m. start.