March 20, 2023

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Odessa College closes home schedule with dominating victory

The Odessa College men’s basketball team dominated Frank Phillips College by a 121-83 score in Western Junior College Athletic Conference play Thursday at the OC Sports Center.

A blazing, efficient start to the game helped the Wranglers jump ahead by a large margin early and the shorthanded Plainsmen had a difficult time responding.

Odessa College had added motivation going into the matchup, as it was the team’s final home game of the regular season.

“It was sophomore night,” Odessa College coach Kris Baumann said. “A lot of these guys, it was the last time they’re going to play in this gym and they were excited.

“I think we overwhelmed [Frank Phillips College] early.”

The Wranglers were in control from the start of the contest, outscoring the Plainsmen 11-1 after allowing them to score the game’s first two points.

Once Odessa College found its rhythm, Frank Phillips College struggled to make defensive stops and saw the deficit increase significantly.

As the period wound down, Odessa College used its speed on offense to find new ways to exploit their opponent.

By the end of the first half, the Wranglers held a 46-point advantage and made nearly 60% of their shots.

Frank Phillips College created better looks at the start of the second half, outscoring the Wranglers 10-4 while Baumann gave bench players more minutes.

Halfway through the period, Baumann returned to his starting group to regain the small portion of momentum that was lost.

The Plainsmen ended up outscoring the Wranglers 62-54 in the second half to slow down the offensive onslaught, but Odessa College still came away with a comfortable victory.

Baumann said human nature took over in the second period as his players took their foot off the gas pedal, due to how large the gap was on the scoreboard.

“Their energy was better in the second half, they brought and they made some shots,” Baumann said of the Plainsmen. “They shot 65% and scored 62 points, which is not acceptable.”

The Wranglers (23-5 overall, 14-0 conference) close out their regular season with two tough road trips, starting with a game against South Plains College at 7:30 p.m. Monday in Levelland.

Baumann knows the Texans will be looking for payback after the Wranglers defeated them earlier in the campaign.

“They’re in second in the league and there’s a lot of different things,” Baumann said. “There’s a lot of pride, there’s a lot of different things that go into that matchup and when we play them, it’s always a big game.”

>> Follow Chris Amaya on Twitter at @OA_CAmaya