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Texans survive double-overtime scare at Clarendon
 February 1, 2013

CLARENDON – The South Plains College Texan basketball team survived a double-overtime scare Thursday night when they defeated Clarendon College 84-83 to maintain a top-four position in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference (WJCAC) standings.

South Plains (16-5, 5-3 WJCAC) trailed by four points with time winding down, but had opportunities to avoid the extra periods altogether.  

After Yanick Moreira tied the game up at 58 apiece with a couple foul shots, Darrel Lucky gave the Texans their final lead of regulation on a jumper with 4:41 to go.

Clarendon would hit a 3 to take one point lead and would then force a turnover by Moreira.  Clarendon’s Jerarad Graham was fouled and sent to the line by Lucky.  Graham extended the Bulldog lead to three.

With three minutes left on the clock, Moreira was again sent to the foul line.  Though he made only six-of-10 on the night, he converted both to pull SPC back to within one.

Again trailing by one following the two teams swapping buckets, Clarendon’s Adika McNeilly sank a 3, making it a two-possession game, 68-64, in favor of the Bulldogs inside of two minutes.

Brandon Neel drove in for a score and then, following a defensive stop Moreira tied the game back up at 68 with only a minute remaining in the contest.  

The Texans received another defensive stop – courtesy of one of Moreira’s three blocked shots on the night and called for time to talk it over.

SPC again worked the ball inside to Moreira who, this time, had his own shot blocked, but was able to come up with his own rebound.  Trying for a second opportunity, Moreira was fouled and sent the line where he had recently sank four in a row.

Moreira missed both, giving Clarendon a chance for the win.

Taking his time to set up a final shot, Clarendon’s Julius Foster turned the ball over on a five-second call.  

SPC’s Devonte Smith had to chase down a botched inbounds pass and then threw up a desperation shot from half-court that missed its mark and the two teams went into the extra period.

South Plains struck first in overtime, thanks to an and one basket by Ryan Martin, who also converted the free throw to put the Texans up three.

It looked like the Texans might have the game sewn up when Smith converted a couple shots from the charity stripe to put SPC up four, 74-70, with only 23 seconds to go.

A foul by Terrence Durham sent McNeilly to the line, where he again made it a one-possession game by converting both.

Clarendon quickly fouled Ryan Martin on the inbounds.  Martin made 1-of-2, missing his first.

Running quickly up the court, Clarendon’s Hershell Grant forced another overtime when a heave from half court bounced off the backboard and into the cylinder to tie the game for the eleventh time at 75 apiece.

Lucky grabbed the tipped ball that started the second overtime and took it in for a quick layup.  After an offensive foul helped the Texans regain possession, Moreira and Martin took turns rebounding their own shots in the paint before Moreira was finally able to get a shot to go on the third try, taking a four-point lead with 4:14 left on the clock.

Moreira – who finished with a game high 22 points and also had 17 rebounds – fouled out of the game after he was called for charging with just over two minutes remaining.

Trailing by three inside of 90 seconds, McNeilly brought Clarendon back to within one after Durham was whistled for his fifth foul.

Missed shots and turnovers by both teams forced Clarendon to again foul and they sent Brandon Neel to the line with 21 ticks left on the clock.  Neel missed both.

The Bulldogs took their time searching for a shot, but with the clock winding down McNeilly launched one from the far corner that missed its mark as the Texans pulled out the victory despite making only 23-of-37 (.622) attempts from the foul line and 29-of-77 (.377) shots overall.

Ryan Martin also recorded a double-double for the Texans with 18 points and a new school record of 21 rebounds, breaking his own school record of 20 recorded earlier in January.

South Plains now remains in a tie for fourth place with Midland in the WJCAC.  The Chaparrals (14-5, 5-3) defeated league leader New Mexico 71-68, snapping the T-Birds nine-game winning streak.  

Next up for South Plains is a brutal five games in 10 days stretch that begins Monday, Feb. 4 when they host the New Mexico Military Institute Broncos at 6:30 p.m.  That home game will be followed by two very tough road games at Midland (Feb. 7) and No. 16 Howard (Feb. 9) before returning to the Texan Dome to host eighth-ranked and league leading New Mexico Feb. 11.

Each game will be broadcast live at www.spctexans.com.

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