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Texans stunned by Scottsdale, ending win streak at 46 games
 January 1, 2013

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The top-ranked South Plains College Texan basketball team could not overcome poor shooting Monday evening against host Scottsdale and went on to drop their first game since March 4, 2011 with a 71-67 defeat at the hands of the Artichokes. 

South Plains (10-1) entered Monday evening’s game with a 46-game winning streak on the line that was tied for the sixth longest in the history of the NJCAA and were denied the chance to join Gloucester at No. 5 all-time.

Things looked promising for the Texans early on as they jumped out to an early eight-point lead in the opening minutes.  Scottsdale rallied, however, tying the game before the midway point with a 10-2 scoring run. 

South Plains was in for a dogfight and the two teams went to the locker room with the score all knotted up at 30, the eighth tie of the half.

The Texans tried to seize the momentum with a couple quick buckets by Darrel Lucky and Brandon Neel to start the second half, but the Artichokes continued to answer. 

Down by two, Neel cleaned up a miss by Roderick Lawrence and put it back up to tie the game for the 13th time.  Scottsdale’s Arthur Martinet nailed the final of his three 3-point baskets to put his team back up by three, 64-61, but Neel answered again with another field goal in the paint.  

Devonte Smith gave South Plains a 65-64 lead when he picked up a steal and drove for a fast-break layup, but the Artichokes responded yet again with five unanswered points to take a four-point lead with less than a minute to go in the game. 

Two free throws by Yanick Moreira made the score 69-67 in favor of Scottsdale, but gave South Plains a chance.

Following a Scottsdale timeout, Texan Kendahl Amerson picked up a big steal, but moments later Terrence Durham turned the ball over and South Plains was forced to foul. 

They still had one final opportunity as Martinet made only one free throw.

South Plains quickly pushed the ball back down the court and found Lucky in the corner for a potential game tying shot that was off the mark.  Amerson fouled Daniel Scroggins, who put the game away by making the first and helping his team knock off the defending NJCAA champions 71-67. 

Moreira led the Texans with his fifth double-double of the season, scoring 15 points and pulling down 12 rebounds.  Neel added 11 and Ryan Martin chipped in with 10.

As a team, however, South Plains made only 12-of-40 (.300) first half shots and 26-of-75 (.347) for the game. 

South Plains will look to get back on track Wednesday, Jan. 2 when they face Mesa (11-3) at 6:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. CST).  The T-Birds most recently defeat East Mississippi 84-81 Dec. 30.  East Mississippi was the Texans first round opponent at the 2012 NJCAA tournament.

Wednesday’s contest will be streamed live online at www.spctexans.com.

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