NMMI Sports Press
YUMA, Ariz. — It was an almost 180-degree turn for the Bronco basketball team Friday as they faced Arizona Western for the second time this season, as after falling by 29 points the first time out, this time they almost pulled out a victory.
Playing on the Matador’s home court at the Desert Classic, the Broncos fell 70-65 in a game that they led late, and that saw no more than a two or three-point separation for much of the second half.
Part of that was due to the NMMI offense looking a lot like it did last year, with the Broncos hitting 10 3-pointers on the night, while the defense was much improved.
After the Matadors opened the game at 4-0, Bronco Marlon Alcindor notched two of his five treys on the night; added a two-point shot, then Chukuka Emili sunk another from behind the arc to put the Broncos up 11-4.
The Matadors slowly battled back to retake the lead, but neither side could get much in early.
A 10-0 run put Arizona Western up 20-12, and despite a trey by Davis Steelman and a last-second bucket by Emili, AWC stretched the lead to 35-25 at the half.
NMMI got two more treys to open the third — both by Steelman — and another field goal to close the gap to four.
Each side then had short runs, with AWC going up by 12 after an 8-1 run, but the Broncos came right back, pulling to within two on another trey, trey, field goal run by Alcindor.
The Matadors went up by eight but NMMI went into the bonus, and after a somewhat shaky first half, went 5-for-6 over a three-minute span while adding a field goal by Emili and treys by Will Sessoms and Alcindor.
AWC got some good plays to put points on their side, but the Broncos went up 63-62 on two by DeMarco Enoch with less than three minutes remaining.
Both teams had their chances as the clock ran down, with Enoch making it 68-65 on two shots from the line. But a missed Bronco layup and a late Matador score sealed the victory for the home team.
Alcindor led the Bronco scoring with 21 points with nine Broncos tallying points in the game.
The Broncos will be back in action Saturday at 3:30 p.m. — still looking for that elusive first victory — against Tohono O’odham Community College.
NMMI Sports Press