MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Wranglers shake off rust in win over NMMI

The Odessa College Wranglers returned to the court Tuesday night with a 71-58 victory over the New Mexico Military Institute Broncos at the OC Sports Center.
Playing their first game since Dec. 7, the Wranglers shook off some rust, overcoming a 30-28 halftime deficit to improve to 13-3 overall and 2-0 in conference play.
“We looked like a team that had been gone for three weeks for Christmas break,” said Odessa College head coach Kris Baumann. “We were a little rusty. I don’t think we played all that bad. I can understand the rust, but I don’t think we made great decisions. I thought New Mexico Military came in and played really well.”
The Wranglers were led by James Reese, who had 17 points, going 5-13 on field goals, 4-8 on 3-pointers and 3-4 on free throws. Adrean Johnson had 13 points, going 5-8 from the field, 2-3 on 3-pointers and 1-2 at the line.
The Broncos (4-11, 0-3) were led by Isaiah Francis, who had 15 points, going 5-20 on the field, 0-6 on 3-pointers and 5-5 on free throws. Kaleb Hicks had 13 points, going 5-13 on field goals, 1-6 on 3-pointers and 2-6 on free throws.
“I thought it was a good game,” said New Mexico Military Institute head coach Sean Schooley. “We’re playing with a lot of freshmen and they played like it at times. But I thought that we played hard enough to win the game. We were up by two points at the half. The second half, we turned it over too many times and they capitalized on it. I thought it was a good game and we could’ve gotten it back to five points and have a chance. But Odessa College is a good team.”
The Wranglers began the night on an 8-3 run. Francis scored from an inside jumper right after for the Broncos and Odessa College took a timeout with 14:58 left in the first half.
A basket by Jermane Carter made it a one-point lead for the Wranglers and Odessa College prepared to send in four new players at the media timeout with 13:32 remaining.
The Broncos took an 11-8 lead with 10:59 before halftime. Aquarn Butler ended the Wranglers’ scoring drought by draining a 3-pointer soon after.
A 3-pointer by Anthony Johnson gave the Wranglers a 19-17 advantage with 7:31 left in the half. Both teams kept it a low-scoring affair, with the two squads tied up at 22-22 with under five minutes left in the first half.
The Broncos went on a quick 8-2 run to take a 30-24 lead with 1:37 left in the first half. The Wranglers used a 4-0 run to end the first half with New Mexico Military Institute leading 30-28.
A transition basket by Jonas Parker gave the Wranglers a 38-36 lead early in the second half. Odessa College soon went on a 6-2 run to take a 44-38 advantage, capped with a basket by Adrean Johnson.
It wasn’t long until the Wranglers took a 50-40 lead, halfway through the second half. Desmond Johnson’s transition basket made it 54-42 soon after and the Wranglers controlled the rest of the game.