NMMI Sports Press
HOBBS — The Bronco basketball team is still looking for its first win of the young season, but Friday’s game was a much closer match than Thursday’s opener, coming down to a missed 3-pointer in the final seconds.
NMMI fell to Trinidad State JC 74-71 in a game that saw the Broncos out-shoot the Trojans from the field, 7-for-21 from the outside, but shot just 56 percent from the charity stripe.
It took more than a minute before either team could get anything in the net after the whistle, with Trinidad finally breaking the drought. The Trojans were up 5-0 before Marlin Alcindor got the first NMMI basket, a trey three minutes into the game.
TSJC stretched their lead to 10 points a quarter of the way through the half, then, after NMMI closed again to within five, the Trojans went up by 14 before the Broncos battled back to 42-34 at the buzzer.
“We started off a little sluggish in the first half,” said coach Ralph Davis. “We didn’t get rolling in the first 10 minutes then we fought but they led at the half, and even after the half, we were still a little sluggish and they stretched the lead to 12, 14, something like that. But then we started digging in. Started playing defense and running our stuff properly and started executing on offense. We got some real good looks.”
Trinidad stayed 10-12 points ahead until 13:03 in the second when NMMI went on a 9-0 run, closing the gap to 52-49, then, after more back-and-forth, it was 60-58 with 5:10 remaining.
Trinidad again pulled ahead, but with 1:15 left, Alcindor made a layup to cut the TSJC lead to 69-68. After a Bronco time out, DeMarco Enoch was fouled and made both free throws, giving NMMI its first and only lead of the game, 70-69.
The Trojans got a layup for a 71-70 lead, then Enoch was again fouled, but this time went 1-for-2, tying it at 71-all. Trinidad went 1-for-2 from the line, got the ball back and after another foul, made both shots to pull ahead 74-71 with eight seconds remaining.
Alcindor, who at that point was 4-for-5 from the outside, tried to tie it up but missed, and time ran out on the Bronco chances.
“Good effort by DeMarco Enoch,” Davis said. “Marlin Alcindor had a good day on the boards. So did Chukuka Emili. Ahmad Coulibaly and Logan Santiago sparked us as well. So it shows promise, and we’re excited to get back on the court tomorrow. We knew we could play. We’re obviously not happy to be 0-2, but we know we can play.”
NMMI had three players in double figures Friday: Enoch tallied 21 despite fouling out; Alcindor 15; and Santiago 12. All but one Bronco added to the scoring and everyone helped on the boards.
The Broncos will try for a win Saturday at 5 p.m. when they wrap up the NMJC Thunderbird Classic against the host T-birds.
“It’s a road game where we’ve got to play them Saturday night at their spot,” Davis said. “But we’re looking forward to the challenge. We’re just excited to get back on the court and get a victory.”
NMMI Sports Press