NMMI Sports Press
HOBBS — It was a tough opening day for the Bronco basketball team Wednesday, as they fell to Arizona Western 76-47 at the NMJC Thunderbird Classic in Hobbs.
The first half was close, with a pair of ties, four lead changes and only a four-point, 31-27 AWC lead separating the teams heading into the locker room. NMMI and the Matadors shot almost even from the field, with Arizona picking up extra points from the outside while the Broncos shot better from the charity stripe.
But NMMI’s shooting went cold in the second half everywhere except from the line, letting AWC slowly pull ahead for the victory.
“Early in the game we came out with some energy,” said coach Ralph Davis. “But one thing compounded into another. We missed 21 free throws, had 30 turnovers and didn’t rebound the basketball.”
Overall, the teams shot dead-even at the line in a game that saw a total of 63 combined fouls in the match. Bronco starters Chukuka Emili and Will Sessoms each fouled out, with Jake Valero sitting at four fouls when the buzzer sounded. Arizona Western also saw two players foul out.
The Broncos were a mere 1-for-13 from outside the arc Thursday, quite a contrast to last year’s outside-shooting team, and Arizona outscored NMMI both inside and out, with four Matador players in double figures — led by Torin Webb with 18 — while only sophomore DeMarco Enoch managed that feat for NMMI, picking up 11.
“It was perplexing,” Davis said. “It definitely wasn’t the team that was playing in all those scrimmages, to say the least. It was, from top to bottom, just lack of intensity, which was very disheartening because this team has been playing such promising basketball in the preseason. But it’s the first game of the season, and we’re excited to get out here tomorrow and prove that was just a fluke mistake today.”
NMMI will be back in action Friday with a game against Trinidad State Junior College at 3:30 p.m. at the Thunderbird gym.
NMMI Sports Press