Westerners put an end to NMMI’s postseason hopes with 75-65 victory in play-in game
NMMI Sports Press
In a game that featured both a big first-half comeback and late game heroics, the New Mexico Military Institute basketball team rose victorious, earning a 78-75 win over conference foe Western Texas College in Snyder, TX.
The Westerners went on a 16-2 run to start the game, prompting a time out by Bronco head coach Sean Schooley. After the break in play, NMMI finished the half on a 32-14 run, and entered the locker room up 34-30.
In the second half, it was a back and forth battle between the two teams, where no team ever held more than a five point lead.
In the final 19 seconds of the game, the Westerners called a timeout, down 75-72, and drew up a play. Schooley set up his team’s defense on the outside, trying to stop an open shot from behind the arc, but WTC still managed to hit 35-foot three (almost 12 feet past the longest part of the NBA’s three-point arc) to tie up the game 75-75 with 12 seconds left in regulation.
Full-court pressure started to harass Bronco guard Keith Deloatch immediately after he got the inbound pass, but quickly backed off. Deloatch seemed a bit confused by the defensive switch, but quickly recovered, made a few dribbles up court, then aired out a 65-foot prayer. His appeal was answered in the affirmative, resulting in NMMI’s second conference road-win of the season.
As a team the Broncos shot 88% (22-25) from the charity stripe and out rebounded Western Texas 48-36.
Isaiah Francis was a large part of that fantastic feat at the free-throw line with a perfect 18-for-18 performance. He led the Broncos with 32 points.
NMMI also had excellent production off the bench, as both Anthony Mensah and Jeremy Parsley put up double figures with 13 and 12 points respectively.
Along with the game-winning shot, Deloatch topped the Bronco roster with 11 rebounds.
“The guys hung in the game fought a hard battle and won it,” said coach Schooley, who was thrilled for his team. “Any win in this league is a good win, but a road win is hard to come by.”
Next up for the Broncos – 7-14 overall and 2-6 in the WJCAC – will be a home conference game against Clarendon College on Thursday, Jan. 31 with a 6:00 PM tipoff.