On Monday evening, the #10 Odessa College Wranglers escaped the BCAC with an 89-84 win over the Frank Phillips College Plainsmen in the WJCAC opener for both teams.
The Plainsmen held a three point lead, 68-65, with 9:30 left in the second half. Unfortunately, the Wranglers used a 10-2 run to build a five point lead that the Plainsmen were not able to overcome in the final four minutes of the game.
Plainsmen Head Coach Chris Hackett was pleased with his team’s effort but knows his team could of came away with the win with a few breaks, saying, “I’m really proud of the way we played tonight against a nationally ranked team. We played well enough to win, but missed too many free throws and easy shots down the stretch. I told the guys that they should be proud of themselves, but not satisfied. Competing is just the first step. If we play as hard as we did tonight the rest of the year, we will surprise a lot of teams.”
Odessa didn’t wait too long to get on the scoreboard, as Derrick Barden got the easy basket just six seconds into the game.
But the Plainsmen didn’t wait too long to respond, as two three pointers by Ronald Scott helped the team take an 8-2 lead by the 18:10 mark.
After a timeout, the Wranglers were able to regroup and eventually built an 11 point lead, 29-40, by the 5:36 mark of the first half.
However the Plainsmen finished the first half strong led by Earl Hill scoring seven points in the final four minutes to cut the deficit to three points at halftime, 46-49.
Through the first five minutes of the second half, the Wranglers would maintain a five point lead.
By the 13:00 mark, the Plainsmen started to get hot behind the three point line with Montero Rice and James Boonestoppel nailing shots leading to the Plainsmen taking a 64-63 lead by the 11:56 mark.
The Plainsmen would hang on to a one point lead for about four minutes, before the Wranglers put together what would become the game deciding run.
In the final minute, the Plainsmen had two opportunities to pull to within three points from the free throw line. But the Plainsmen would only go 1 of 2 from the free throw line on both trips and came up short in putting themselves in position to get the big win at home.
The Plainsmen drop to 8-9 overall, 0-1 in WJCAC play and will next travel to Snyder to take on Western Texas College on Thursday. Odessa College improves to 16-1 overall and start conference play 1-0.
FPC team stats: 2PT-17/40 for 42%; 3PT-9/23 for 39%; Total FG-26/63 for 41%; FT’s-FPC 21/32 for 66% Odessa 14/23 for 61%; Total rebounds-FPC 38 Odessa 42; Turnovers-FPC 6 Odessa 9.
FPC individual stats: Montero Rice 8 pts 2 rebs 3 asts 2 stls; James Boonestoppel 3 pts 4 rebs 1 stl; Ronald Scott 21 pts 4 rebs 3 asts; Earl Hill 16 pts 8 rebs 2 asts; Akeem Johnson 14 pts 5 rebs 1 stl; Greg Nelson 1 pt 2 asts; Taquan McDew 10 pts 5 rebs 3 asts; Alex Zivkovic 6 pts 7 rebs 1 ast; Kris Harris 5 pts 1 reb; Mike Evans 2 rebs 1 ast.
Odessa College 49 89
Frank Phillips College 46 84