The last official game in the Cahoon Armory gymnasium ended with an NMMI win, as the Bronco men's basketball team bounced back from a three-game slide, taking down the Trinidad Trojans at home, 74-57.
NMMI's seven-foot center Osborne Shema was big on the boards, collecting 11 in the first half alone, and guards Kylin Robinson and Andrew Cotton combined for 40 points, allowing the Institute to avenge an earlier double-overtime loss on the road to the Trojans back on Nov. 12.
The Broncos never trailed in the contest, opening up with the first seven points of the ball game with solid inside shots from three different players, and a free throw from a fourth, after a foul on another shot in the paint.
The only tie in the match came at the 15-minute mark, when Trinidad managed an eight-point swing to knot the score at 11s.
But by the end of the half, NMMI had widened the margin to nine: 39-30.
The Institute maintained at least a seven point advantage throughout the entire second half, thanks to a solid defensive effort, and lead by double-digits for the final eight minutes of play.
"This was really a needed win for the guys. We had a couple of heart-breaking losses and a conference game where we didn't play very well. We needed this win right before the break to go away feeling pretty good about ourselves," stated head Bronco coach Sean Schooley.
"Today was another great defense effort by our guys, and we did it in both halves," continued Schooley. "The last time we played the Trojans we let them score 110 points against us. Granted that was with two overtimes, but they still had 76 points at the end of regulation. Tonight we held them to 57."
"We also rebounded the ball better today; Shema had a tremendous game both rebounding and on defense. Andrew Cotton had a really good night with 20 points, 5 assists and 6 boards; that's the Drew that we know. It was just a needed, solid overall effort: the guys needed it, coach [Will] Joyce needed it, I needed it, after that tough three-game skid," laughed coach Schooley.
With the win, NMMI's records improves to 8-5 on the season. Their next contest won't occur until after the holiday break - they take on Western Junior College Athletic Conference opponent New Mexico Junior College on Monday, Jan. 6 at 4:00 PM MST. That game will be held in the Godfrey Athletic Center, as the Cahoon Armory building will be closed for a complete remodeling.