MIDLAND, Texas – The 24th-ranked Seward County Community College men's basketball team suffered its first loss of the season with a 70-52 defeat to Odessa College on Saturday at the Chap Shootout. The Saints fall to 4-1.
The Saints were done in by a dominant second half start by the Wranglers. Trailing 29-18, Seward scored the first basket to cut the margin to 29-20, but it was all Odessa after that.
The Wranglers went on a 9-0 run to take a 38-20 lead with 17:20 left in the second half. Odessa was not done and used a 22-9 spurt to open a game-high 31-point advantage at 60-29 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the contest. The Wranglers, who shot 60 percent from the field in the second half and 49 percent for the game, cruised the rest of the way.
The first half was an indication of how the game would go – a slow start, sloppy play and three-point daggers by the Wranglers. Odessa jumped out to a 10-0 lead before Steven Takyi scored Seward's first two points on a layup with 13:30 left in the first half. That started a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 10-6, but Odessa's Victor Rosario answered with a three-pointer to put the Wranglers up by seven, 13-6, with 11:14 remaining.
Seward battled back with baskets by Branton McCrary and Surakata Jawara to close the gap to three at 13-10, but would never get any closer as Rosario answered again for Odessa with a trey and opened a six-point cushion.
The Saints were within striking distance and had opportunities to draw closer, but failed to cash in. Odessa had all the momentum heading into the half when Kareem Welch hit a three-pointer with six seconds left to give the Wranglers an 11-point advantage at 29-18.
Seward, which shot 41 percent for the game, was led by McCrary with 15 points and Jawara with nine points. The Saints committed 26 turnovers, 16 in the first half.
The Saints travel to Bethany College to play the JV team at 2 p.m. on Thursday.