LEWISVILLE — Trailing after 20 minutes, the second-ranked South Plains College men’s basketball team exploded with a 16-2 run to begin the second half en route to a 79-64 victory over Panola College Sunday night at the Farmer Activity Center.
South Plains improves to 2-0 on the year and will return to the hardwood on Friday, Nov. 9 when they take on Seward County Community College at 8 p.m., followed by a matchup with Dodge City Community College on Nov. 10 at 4 p.m. Both games will be streaming live at spctexans.com.
Sophomore Chris Orlina led the Texans scoring attack as the 6-foot-7 forward from Newport News, Virginia finished with a career-high 25 points including 18 in the back half of the contest. Missouri State commit Gaige Prim netted 19 points including 10 in the second half.
“I thought we started the game slow and their zone attack kind of put us on our heels a little bit in the first half,” South Plains head coach Steve Green said. “We were able to make some adjustments at the half and fought hard on the defensive end which kept us in the game. Orlina stepped up and played well and showed some signs of his experience from the national tournament last season, and Trey Wade hit some big shots and was definitely a difference maker in the second half.”
Wade hit from behind the arc twice early in the second half to spark the Texans run as he finished with 14 points, 10 coming in the final stint. Battling Panola’s zone attack, Orlina was able to continuously get to the foul line, captioning down the stretch as he was 12-for-12 from the charity stripe.
Sophomore Tariq Simmons led Panola in scoring with 14 points while sophomore Lanell Henry tallied 12 and Keiondre Jefferson finished with 10.
“We started out slow and came out at half and started rebounding the ball and started looking for open shots,” Prim said. “I always put rebounding before scoring and it opens up the floor for everyone, and if we can get an open look on a 3 and get an easy bucket we will take that all game. We knew we needed to get going in the second half, and we found a rhythm on both sides and were able to pick up the win.”