Spight's 22 points help Texans move to quarterfinal date with top-seed Indian HillsMarch 19, 2014
HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Andre Spight scored a game high 22 points and Roderick Lawrence added 19 and eight rebounds as the South Plains College Texans beat Paris Junior College 75-65 Tuesday afternoon during second round action of the NJCAA National Tournament at the Hutchinson Sports Arena.
Originally scheduled for 4:30 p.m., the contest started nearly two hours late due to earlier games running past schedule.
The Texans (29-5) took at six-point lead, 34-28, to the locker room at halftime, but came out firing to start the second half.
Lawrence knocked down an early 3 and moments later turned a steal into a layup to put the Texans up 11. Sekou Harris and Spight also converted field goals before Paris was able to get on the board as the Texans scored the first nine points of the back half.
“We said in the locker room that we wanted to come out aggressive and put our foot on the pedal and really take it to them,” Spight said.
Sophomore Michael Karena would stretch the Texan lead to a game high 15 just over two minutes into the second period when his bucket put the score at 45-30.
Paris (26-8) would get back to within six inside eight minutes to go in the game when they slowed South Plains down with a 13-4 run of their own.
Spight and company responded, not allowing the Dragons to creep any closer and ultimately winning by a 10-point margin.
The Texans pulled down 19 offensive rebounds, leading to 17 second chance points.
“I think it was the difference in the game,” Texan head coach Steve Green said. “There are a whole lot of good things that happen when you get second shots.”
Paris head coach Chuck Taylor agreed.
“They are very well coached and a very good team,” Taylor said. “They rebound the ball at an extremely high level and they did that tonight.
“We like to say ‘eight or less’ on second chance opportunities, I’m pretty sure they got more than 10.”
South Plains will now turn their attention to top-ranked and No. 1 tournament seed Indian Hills, who survived a double overtime scare from New Mexico JC in the previous game.
Indian Hills held on to defeat New Mexico 102-94. The T-Birds led by as many as 16 in the second half but saw their advantage cut to 81-79 as the game entered its final minute. Over the final 48 seconds, New Mexico made only 1-of-4 shots from the free throw line, allowing Indian Hills to send the game to extra periods and, eventually, win.
“They are very athletic. Shot blockers, they shoot the ball well,” Green said of the team that finished the regular season ranked No. 1. “I think they want it to be a full-court game, which I think we are ok with that.”
South Plains scrimmaged the Warriors in October, before the regular season began.
“It was very challenging, it was good for us,” Green said before adding, “We’ve both been through a lot to get to this point. They are probably better now than they were and I hope we are too.”
The ninth-seeded Texans are scheduled for a 12 p.m. tipoff with Indian Hills on Thursday, March 20.