MEN’S BASKETBALL: Top-ranked South Plains College uses late run to beat No. 14 Odessa College

The Odessa College men’s basketball team went blow for blow with No. 1 South Plains on Thursday, but in the end, it was the Texans that delivered the knockout punch.

South Plains used a 10-0 run late in the second half to pull away from the No. 14 Wranglers 93-80 at the OC Sports Center.

“We fought back, but their guys made shots,” Odessa College head coach Tra Arnold said.

Odessa College (20-4 overall, 9-2 WJCAC) trimmed the Texans’ advantage to 68-64 thanks to the sharp shooting of Keyon Jones off the bench after South Plains used an earlier 10-0 spurt to push its lead to 13 points.

Jones hit 5 of 9 from 3-point range on his way to a season-high 22 points to lead the Wranglers.

Tyree Robinson added another 20 points and eight rebounds in the loss.

South Plains got off to a hot start, jumping out to a 20-8 lead behind the shooting of Texas Tech commit Jordan Brangers. The sophomore guard scored 14 of his 20 points in first 10 minutes, which included four 3-pointers, to jump start the South Plains attack.

Josh Webster also found his shooting rhythm when the Odessa College defense collapsed on Brangers. Webster made 9 of 12 from the field for a game-high 23 points.

Odessa College rallied back from the initial first half deficit and took a three-point lead 12 minutes into the first half, but the Texans (23-0, 11-0) responded with a 16-8 run to close the half.

South Plains came out of the locker room and scored 10 of the first 12 points in the second half and forced the Wranglers to play catch-up the rest of the contest.

“It’s just a tough night. They’re a good team,” Arnold said. “We’re in a stretch now where we’ve got to get the next one on the road.”

South Plains shot 58 percent from the field, including 19 of 28 in the second half, to halt any run Odessa College attempted to make.

The Wranglers settled for the perimeter shot on too many occasions, said Arnold, as his team went 6 of 21 from 3-point range with Jones accounting for five of those made baskets.

“We’re not going to win a game against them when we shoot more 3s than them,” Arnold said. “That’s not what we are.”

The Wranglers also struggled at the free-throw line, making just 16 of 27 attempts.

Brangers and Webster did the bulk of the scoring for the Texans, but the No. 1 team in the nation also got another 18 points from Montell McRae, who went 8 of 9 from the field, and 10 more from Jahlil Tripp.

Develle Phillips finished with 10 rebounds from his post position to go along with nine points for Odessa College in the loss.

Odessa College trails South Plains by two games for first-place in the WJCAC and holds a 2.5 game lead of New Mexico Junior College for the second position.

The Wranglers return to the court on Monday at Clarendon College.

>> Follow Joshua Perry on Twitter @OAjperrysuu