COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Depth pushes Wranglers past Howard College

The Odessa College men’s basketball got a strong performance from its bench in its 61-57 win over Howard College in Western Junior College Athletic Conference play Monday at the OC Sports Center.

Anthony Marshall contributed 19 points and scored a contested layup in the game’s final minutes to give the Wranglers the necessary push to close out the victory.

Odessa College coach Kris Baumann said some of his players weren’t as prepared as they should have been, so he turned to other options to get things flowing on the court.

“The focus probably wasn’t there in the first half, so we had to go to some other guys and some other guys stepped up,” Baumann said. “That’s the beauty of playing, when you have enough bodies, you can go to other guys if guys aren’t ready to go.”

In the first half, Howard College built up an advantage by taking control of the game’s tempo.

The Hawks were moving at a slower pace than the Wranglers are accustomed to, as they normally use their speed to move up and down the court in transition.

Howard College took a three-point lead into the break after D’Mari Wiltz scored eight points to help his team jump ahead.

The Wranglers saw their depth play a key role in the second half.

Marshall, Garfield Turner and Daniel Rivera were among those who helped boost Odessa College down the stretch.

Odessa College shot 70% from the field in the second half and outscored the Hawks 41-34 to maintain its unbeaten mark in conference play.

Baumann felt the Wranglers had more success moving the ball later in the game and that contributed to its shooting efficiency.

“I thought the ball movement was a lot better in the second half, when we do that we’re pretty good,” Baumann said. “I thought we made the extra pass in the second half, in the first half the ball just kind of got stuck and we didn’t take very good shots.”

With the win, Odessa College also maintained its spot at the top of the WJCAC standings.

The Wranglers (17-5 overall, 8-0 conference) will play New Mexico Junior College at 8:30 p.m. Thursday in Hobbs, N.M.

>> Follow Chris Amaya on Twitter at @OA_CAmaya

Odessa College 61, Howard College 57

HOWARD COLLEGE (12-8, 4-4)

Rahkiem Petterson 4-12 0-0 8, Blaize Sagna 3-14 2-2 11, D’Mari Wiltz 7-14 0-1 14, Nestor Dyachok 5-14 2-2 16, Bonny Udoh 2-5 0-0 5, Jacoby Bishop 0-1 1-2 1, Lamar Everd 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 22-62 5-7 57.

ODESSA COLLEGE (17-5, 8-0)

Dian Wright-Forde 1-7 0-1 2, Daniss Jenkins 1-7 2-2 4, Daniel Rivera 3-3 3-4 10, Dontrell Hewlett 0-3 0-0 0, Shakeem Alcindor 1-3 0-0 2, Darrell Armstrong, Jr. 0-1 2-2 2, Anthony Marshall 6-7 6-8 19, Mike Rivera 2-3 2-4 6, Garfield Turner 4-4 0-1 8, Tre Richardson 3-7 0-1 8, Kiree Huie 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-46 15-23 61.

Halftime — Howard College 23, Odessa College 20. 3-Point goals — Odessa College 4-14 (Wright-Forde 0-2, Jenkins 0-2, D. Rivera 1-1, Hewlett 0-1, Armstrong 0-1, Marshall 1-2, M. Rivera 0-1, Richardson 2-4), Howard College 8-22 (Petterson 0-1, Sagna 3-6, Wiltz 0-1, Dyachok 4-12, Udoh 1-1, Everd 0-1). Total fouls — Odessa College 12, Howard College 16. Fouled out — Howard College (Dyachok). Technical fouls — None. Rebounds — Odessa College 35 (D. Rivera 8), Howard College 31 (Petterson 10). Assists — Odessa College 8 (Jenkins 3), Howard College 9 (Wiltz 5).