ARTICLE BY: MICHAEL BAUER | OA SPORTS
The Odessa College men's basketball team continued its recent resurgence with a 78-47 win over New Mexico Military Institute in Western Junior College Athletic Conference action Thursday night at the OC Sports Center.
Led by Tauriawn Knight's 23 points, the Wranglers (10-10 overall, 3-4 WJCAC), who were coming off a win over Clarendon College on Monday, didn't trail at all, building a 37-23 halftime lead and not looking back.
"I was happy. I was much happier tonight," Odessa College head coach Kris Baumann said. "I want to thank the people who came and watched us play. That's why I love coaching here, because we have great fans who will always come out and support us and I appreciate them supporting us. I thought we looked like a different basketball team. I thought the win in Clarendon really gave the guys some confidence."
The Broncos (11-8, 3-4) were led by Furaha Cadeaux de Dieu who had 13 points, while Jermane Carter had 12 and Jeremiah Barr scored 10.
The Wranglers began the game on a promising note, going on a 5-0 run. Knight shot a 3-pointer to give Odessa College an 8-2 lead soon after.
Ayuel drew a foul and made both free throws to give the Wranglers a 13-2 lead with 14:28 left in the first half.
Following a media timeout and a foul, Alphousseyni Diedhiou made one of two free throws to give the Wranglers a 17-6 advantage with just under 13 minutes left in the first half.
Ayuel drilled an open 3-pointer to expand the hosts' advantage to 22-9 with 11:10 left in the half.
A transition basket for the Broncos resulted in a wide-open layup by Jeremeiah Barr, which came on a 5-0 run as New Mexico Military closed to a 24-17 deficit with 7:31 on the clock.
New Mexico Military Institute wouldn't go away and the Broncos continued to eat away at the Wranglers' lead.
An inside jumper by Zachary Bates brought the Broncos to a 29-21 deficit with under three minutes left in the half.
But Odessa College responded with a quick 8-2 run.
Knight drilled a 3-pointer and Jones used a layup to help the Wranglers to a 37-23 halftime lead.
"I feel like we've just been playing really well," Knight said. "We came out and defended well. Last time we were at home, we didn't defend very well. We held them to some good percentages on the defensive end of the floor. Our offense led to our defense."
The Wranglers began the second half on a strong note and took a 49-32 lead with 11:41 left in the game.
David Ward scored a 3-pointer, pushing the Wranglers' lead to 52-35 with 9:30 remaining.
Isaiah Turner's inside jumper made it 60-38 soon after.
New Mexico Military Institute responded with a 7-3 run, but the Wranglers managed to regain their focus.
Knight drove for an uncontested layup on a transition to give the Wranglers a 67-45 lead at the 3:08 mark.
Ward scored another outside shot as the Wranglers stayed in control, making it 72-47 and the Wranglers would have no trouble closing out.