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Texans squander large lead, fall to Hawks 68-65
 January 13, 2013

LEVELLAND – If one were to look only at the final score of Saturday’s anticipated matchup between the eleventh-ranked Texans and eighth-ranked Howard College, they might have confused it as a game for the ages as it came down to the wire – following two lopsided halves of play.

The South Plains College Texans looked to be back on track.  Just two days ago, they turned a close game with Midland College into a 19-point victory and looked to be riding the momentum that helped them close out their game with the Chaps as they tore out of the gates to an early 12-point lead and, ultimately, a commanding 13-point lead at halftime, 40-27.

Yanick Moreira set the tone early, blocking the first two Howard College shots of the day after putting the Texans on the board first with a 12-foot jump shot.  Moreira even earned a snazzy assist when he found Ryan Martin early in the game; giving every indication he was going to have an all-around night.

Kendahl Amerson got hot early, nailing a 3 that put the Texans up 9-7 and began a 12-2 run that put the Texans in control early.

The second half started much the same as the first half, only this time Howard controlled the tempo.

Aside from two free throws by Terrence Durham, South Plains was unable to convert a field goal until Amerson hit a 3-point bucket nearly four minutes into the second half.  Still up ten, 45-35, the Texans still held a nice advantage.

The Hawks made their move following the 13-minute media timeout when, down 48-38, they went on a 15-3 scoring run that gave them their first lead since the opening 90-seconds of the contest.  

And so, the game many anticipated might come down to the end began when the contest was more than three-quarters over.

Over the next seven minutes, the game would see four tied scores and with just over a minute remaining the two teams found themselves knotted up at 64 when freshman forward Ryan Martin turned a missed attempt by Devonte Smith into a basket and was able to give SPC a one-point lead after being fouled and making the free throw attempt.

On their next trip down the court, Howard’s DaShaun Wiggins was fouled by Amerson as he made a basket down low and would put the Hawks up by two when he made his free throw attempt.  

A missed jumper by Moreira at the top of the key was way off the mark, prompting Moreira to quickly foul Rico Richardson.  Richardson would go on to make 1-of-2 at the line.

An attempt to tie the game by Devonte Smith in the waning seconds missed its mark, sending South Plains to their first loss, 68-65, in conference play since falling to Odessa on Feb. 10, 2011.  The loss also snaps a 20 game home winning streak for the Texans.

South Plains falls to 13-3 overall and 2-1 in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference while Howard improves to 14-2 and are tied with the Texans in the WJCAC standings at 2-1.  

After shooting 63-percent from the field in the first half on 17-of-27 shooting from the field, the Texans were only able to convert 7-of-27 in the second half.

Amerson led the Texans with 20 points and Moreira finished the game with 13 points and seven rebounds, though only three points and two boards come in the back half.  

A tough road trip to Hobbs, N.M., is next for the Texans, where they will face the NJCAA No. 15-ranked T-Birds of New Mexico Junior College, whom Steve Green has a 24-1 record against as head coach of the Texans. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:45 p.m. Central Standard time.

Live video and statistics for the Texans game versus the T-Birds will be available at www.spctexans.com.  Michael Wiiest will call the courtside action that can also be found on the air at KLVT 1230 AM and online at www.klvtradio.com.

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