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Texans toppled in WJCAC showdown versus No. 18 Hawks
 February 9, 2013

BIG SPRING – Yanick Moreira recorded game highs of 24 points and 16 rebounds, but received little help as the South Plains College Texans dropped their Western Junior College Athletic Conference (WJCAC) showdown at 18th-ranked Howard, 63-55, at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum Saturday afternoon.

The loss drops South Plains (18-6, 7-4 in WJCAC) to fourth place in the league standings, one-half game ahead of Midland who the Texans have swept for the season.

The game started out as a low scoring affair with the two teams all knotted up at 10 points each past the midway point of the first half.  A 15-4 scoring run by the Texans gave them a brief double-digit advantage before heading to the locker room with a 27-19 lead.

Starting the second half, the Texans had a hard time scoring and Howard’s Jacob Thomas got hot.

Thomas, a 45-percent 3-point shooter last season, had converted less than 30-percent entering Saturday’s contest.

With his team trailing five in the early going of the back half, Thomas torched the Texans for 13 unanswered points that helped spark an 18-0 run that put the Hawks in control of the game, 44-31.  

Howard would lead by as many as 14 before the Texans began a rally of their own.

Trailing 53-39, Moreira sandwiched a couple 3s around a field goal by Howard’s Cameron Forte and then a second chance opportunity in the paint by J.R. Owens got SPC back to within single digits, 55-47.  

With only 2:36 remaining in the game, Howard took advantage of an SPC turnover to push their lead back to 10.  

Following a Howard timeout, Terrence Durham nailed a 3 and then moments later converted a two-point goal.  Moreira made it a one-possession game, after being fouled by Karim York, sinking two free throws with 54 seconds left to make it a 57-54 score.

Prior to Moreira’s two free throw’s, Howard College’s York could have easily been assessed a technical foul when he expressed his frustration by slamming the ball into the ground after being whistled for the foul on Moreira.  A technical foul call would have given the Texans two additional free throws.

That’s as close as the Texans would come as a defensive foul by Devonte Smith would lead to two more Howard free throws.

By the time Smith converted 1-of-2 at the line with only 15 seconds left, the Texans then trailed 60-55.  Howard would convert 3-of-4 in the finishing moments to earn the victory.

The Hawks (20-4, 8-3) now own third place in the WJCAC standings behind New Mexico and Odessa.

The Texans will now look to return to the win column when they host league leading New Mexico Monday, Feb. 11, at the Texan Dome on a night sponsored by Covenant Hospital of Levelland.  In an effort to promote the ‘Think Pink’ initiative and breast cancer awareness, South Plains College will be raffling off an iPad 4 during halftime of the Texan game that is scheduled to tip at 7:45 p.m.  Tickets can be purchased in the athletic department office located in the west end of the Texan Dome, or upon entering the Texan Dome for the game.

Fans are encouraged to wear pink to Monday’s games that will be broadcast live at www.spctexans.com, KLVT 1230 AM, and www.klvtradio.com.

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