NMMI Sports Press
It wasn’t easy and went down to the wire, but the Bronco basketball team picked up their second straight conference win 56-54 over visiting Frank Phillips College.
The Plainsmen walked into NMMI’s Cahoon Armory gym with an 11-11 record overall record and 0-8 in the conference.
One of those losses was on their home court to the Broncos, 91-64, in both team’s first conference game of the season back on Nov. 30.
So it was a bit of a surprise when the two teams played to a 24-24 tie at the end of the half.
“FPC came in hungry – they wanted their first win and we came out a little flat,” explained NMMI head coach Ralph Davis.
The first points of the game went to Frank Phillips on a three-pointer by Isaiah Palmer, who finished with 17 to lead all scorers.
The Plainsmen held that lead until the 12:32 mark when DeMarco Enoch put NMMI up for the first time, 13-12, hitting both the shot and the free throw to complete the and-one.
Another FPC three at 6:06 gave the Plainsmen a four-point lead, 22-18, but NMMI quickly tied things back up with an inside bucket by Lenny Kadisha, and two more shots from the charity stripe from Enoch.
At the start of the second the Broncos went on a 6-1 run to go up 34-29.
The Plainsmen caught up just as quickly with their own run and surged ahead again by four thanks to fouls, made free throws and six points by Palmer.
Back-to-back treys by Bronco guard Maurice Coleman put NMMI back on top 40-39, with just under 12 minutes left in regulation.
After that, FPC never lead again, although they did manage to tie the score four more times.
The game was back-and-forth after that until the final minute of play, with neither team able to hold more than a slim one-point margin.
NMMI tied their largest lead of the game – five points – with just 17 seconds left on the clock, after Will Sessoms got a long defensive rebound and was fouled trying to dribble up court on the fast break.
He drained both charity shots and it looked like the game was well in hand at 54-49.
But then the Broncos did the unthinkable – they fouled the FPC player going up for the shot. The two-pointer was good, as was the ensuing foul shot, making it 54-52 with 11 seconds left.
FPC was forced to foul and Coleman went to the line for the Broncos on the double bonus. He sunk both to put the game out of reach and get NMMI the win.
Two players had double figured in points for the Broncos, Enoch and Coleman with 12. Enoch also got the double-double with 10 rebounds.
Coach Davis was happy with the win and his team’s defensive play, but concerned about their scoring.
“For the time being, it feels good to get the win,” he said. “We’ve won three out of the last four conference games, which starts to put us in the thick of things. Defensively, we know as long as we compete we can stop teams from scoring, but we need to play better offensively. We’ve got some big games coming up – Odessa College at home – and 56 [points] won’t get it done. We’ve simply got to play better on offense.”
That home game vs. Odessa is set for Monday, Feb. 6 at 6:30 P.M. in the Cahoon Armory.