Highlanders Drop Region V Tournament Opener

(March 7, 2013) -- In a game that came down to the final seconds, the McLennan Highlanders fell to the New Mexico Thunderbirds 71-68 this afternoon in the opening round of the Region V Tournament at Lubbock Christian University.

The Highlanders came out slow, letting New Mexico open the game on a 13-2 run. The Thunderbirds increased the lead to 18 with 3:15 to play but MCC fought back, cutting the lead to five with 1:43 to go and New Mexico held the 39-31 advantage at the break.

MCC cut the lead to two with 15:25 remaining in the game. The Thunderbirds pulled away again, extending the lead to 14 midway through the second half. The Highlanders rallied, cutting the lead to two with 31 seconds to play. New Mexico made a free throw with 11.29 second left to take the 71-68 lead. The Highlanders had a chance to tie the game but Clarence Willard's 3-point shot in the final seconds was short.

Deondre Ray led the Highlanders with 14 points. Devonse Reed and Willard added 13 and 12, respectively.

MCC ends the season with an overall record of 25-8.

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