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Sea Devils fall short in first round of NJCAA

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HUTCHINSON, KS (CAPE FEAR CC RELEASE) -- Trailing by as many as 14 in the second half, the Cape Fear Community College men’s basketball team closed the deficit to three with seven minutes to go in the contest, but South Plains put in work on the offensive glass and took advantage of 20 Sea Devil turnovers to pick up the 93-81 win in game two of the 67th Annual National Junior College Athletic Association Championship in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Anthony Vanhook, Cape Fear’s leading scorer this season, put in a game-high 21 points before he fouled out with three minutes to play, and Cordea Wilson added 17 to pace the Sea Devils. Averaging just 9.4 points per game this year, Demetrus Abrams also had a strong season-finale off the bench for Cape Fear with 16 points, which included four shots from downtown,.

South Plains shot 61 percent from the field as Clayton Jones hit for all 15 of his points after the break, and six-foot, nine-inch Michael Karena opened the final 20 minutes with six straight points to give South Plains a 51-38 cushion.

Cape Fear made 19-of-20 from the free throw line to keep the game competitive, but South Plains had an answer to every spurt run off by the Sea Devils. Billy D. Williams hit four trifectas in the first half for the Texans to finish with 16 points and Roderick Lawrence put in a team-high 17 to lead six players in double figures for South Plains.
With the Texans leading 56-42, Cape Fear outscored its opponent 23-12 over the next eight minutes as JT Murphy hit a deep three-ball from the top of the arc to make it 58-55 with 6:55 to go in the game. Murphy finished with 10 for the Sea Devils.

Jones answered the call for South Plains with his third trey of the night and Roderick Lawrence threw down a one-handed tomahawk slam to give the Texans enough breathing room to close out the contest.

A quick 9-2 spurt after the Lawrence jam put the game out of reach as South Plains was able to keep possessions alive on the offensive boards on three different occasions down the stretch to advance in the tournament.

Cape Fear finished the year at 19-14 as the Region X Champions and saw their five game win streak come to an end in the setback. The Sea Devils made their third appearance in six years at Hutchinson.

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