MESA, Ariz. – Seward County’s men’s basketball team got their shot at redemption against the No. 1 South Plains Texans, but fell just short again after a hard-fought effort, losing 72-64 in the championship match in the Fiesta Bowl Junior College Shootout.

Seward fell behind 9-4 to start the game, but they stormed back to take control of the first half. With the game tied at 14 at the media timeout, the Saints used a 16-6 run over the next seven minutes to take a 30-21 lead.  With just a minute and a half left in the game, the Texans proved why they’re the No. 1 team, narrowing the lead to just four points after making their final three shots of the half as the Saints took a 32-28 lead into halftime.

Seward started off the second half with a hot hand, as Reggie Miller drilled a three to push the Seward lead back to seven.  The rest of the game belonged to the Texans however, as they slowly cut into the Saints lead until eventually overtaking them with a three-pointer seven minutes into the second half. It appeared the game was going to get out of hand as the Texans began increasing their lead, at one point reaching 13 points, but Seward fought back, making it a six point game with 16 seconds left.  The Texans would make their free throws down the stretch, keeping the Saints at a distance, winning 72-64.

Seward shot 38.1 percent (24-for-63) from the floor and 25 percent (6-for-24) from behind the arc.  South Plains shot 44.8 percent (26-for-58) from the field and 25 percent (4-for-16) from deep.

Two Saints reached double-figures, led by Marco Morency‘s 20 point performance.  Devin Bethely also reached double-digits, finishing with 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting.

Seward wraps up their non-conference schedule with an 11-3 record, their best record after winter break since 2015. The Saints will begin a stretch of games that include six of the next nine on the road when they travel to Independence to take on the Pirates at 8:00 pm on January 9.