Wrangler Men run past New Mexico

Tony Vengas:OA
Tony Vengas:OA

ehind a dominant second half where the Odessa College men's basketball held visiting New Mexico Junior College to 21 points, the Wranglers were able to clinch a share of the top seed in the WJCAC standings.

Odessa College extended its win streak to eight games with a 77-46 victory while keeping its home record unblemished at 10-0 Monday night at the OC Sports Center.

The Wranglers close out the regular season hosting a marquee game against South Plains College at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The winner clinches the conference title and No. 1 seed.

After a slow start, the Wranglers jumped out a seven-point lead after Adrean Johnson knocked down a 3-pointer with 13:30 in the first half.

Going on a 5-0 run that included a dunk by Jordan Pierce and a 3-pointer from Aquarn Butler, Odessa College extended its lead to 24-12.

"I thought we got off to a little better start. We weren't down like we have been before," Odessa College head coach Kris Baumann said. "We're just kind of a slow-starting team and then we kind of kick into gear."

Early in the second half, the Wranglers (24-5 overall, 13-2 WJCAC) put together an 8-0 run to extend their lead to 17 points.

The run came to an end after New Mexico Junior College's Gideon George made two free throws with 17:05 remaining.

Anthony Johnson hit a 3-pointer that sparked a 7-0 run for Odessa College, which increased its lead to 22 points.

The Wranglers shot 51 percent (15 of 29) from the field in the second half with James Reese leading all scorers with 17 points and Adrean Johnson finishing 13.

Odessa College got 41 points from its bench while it out-rebounded the Thunderbirds, 45-38.

Deion Rhea led New Mexico Junior College (20-9, 9-6) with 14 points while George added 13.

The win avenges a 68-66 loss to New Mexico Junior College the Wranglers suffered back on Jan. 24 in Hobbs, N.M.

"It feels good coming back and bouncing back," Reese said. "We started off a little slow. We just came together as a team and handled business."