NMMI Sports Press
ODESSA, Texas — The Broncos traveled to Odessa Saturday to match up with one of the two WJCAC teams ranked in the top 10 nationally.
And despite the quality of the Wranglers (12-2, 3-0) , NMMI hung with them, falling 57-44 in a game that was decidedly much closer than the final shows.
“It was much, much closer than the score indicated,” said coach Ralph Davis. “We hung in there. Missed a few swings, but it was encouraging. There’s never a good loss, but we fought. We fought pretty hard today.”
The Broncos (4-9, 1-2) trailed by as much as 10 points at times in the first half, cutting it to 27-22 at the buzzer.
They cut that lead in the second, closing to 31-32 on a layup by Logan Santiago, then, after an Odessa turnover and steal by Santiago, Maurice Coleman gave NMMI a brief lead with a jump shot at 11:53.
The Wranglers came back to retake the lead, but at 2:33 left in the game, Marlon Alcindor got 3 the old-fashioned way, getting fouled on a layup and making the free throw. That cut the Odessa lead to 45-41, but except to one final layup by leading scorer Marlon Hunter with 1:16 remaining, the rest of the scoring came from the Wrangler charity stripe, and they were perfect down the stretch.
Both teams shot well from the line — 68 percent for NMMI — and neither did well from the field. But Davis said Odessa had a solid defense.
“We didn’t shoot a great percentage today, and they did a great job of protecting the rim,” he said. “There were a couple of shot blockers out there who did a good job of deflecting or altering the shots we normally hit. And they hit free throws down the stretch to kind of put the game away. We had our opportunities for sure, but we were in it right to the end.”
No Broncos scored in double figures. Starters Coleman, Santiago and DeMarco Enoch put in eight points each, while Alcindor and Lenny Kadisha had seven and Steelman six, both from treys.
NMMI will wrap up 2016 with a pair of games in Cahoon Armory before getting back into conference in January.
“We’ll finish off this week with Northern New Mexico again on Tuesday and Ranger on Thursday,” Davis said. “We just need to continue to play well, and we look forward to the first conference game back at home January 9. One day at a time.”
NMMI Sports Press