March 8, 2019
NMJC freshman, and Hobbs graduate, Clay Strasner drives toward the basket during a home game. Strasner and the T-Birds lost to Collin County 63-60 in the NJCAA Region V Tournament Thursday in Abilene.
The New Mexico Junior College men's basketball team went into the NJCAA Region V Tournament as the No. 3 seed from the Western Junior College Athletic Conference. That meant the Thunderbirds had to play Collin County, the No. 2 seed from the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference. While the T-Birds had the lead in the first half, they couldn't hold it, falling to the Cougars 63-60 on Thursday at Abilene Christian College.
The Thunderbirds held the upper hand in the first half as NMJC had the lead and the momentum. NMJC built up a lead as large as 11 points, 30-19 before going into the half up by six, 32-26.
However, during the second half, Collin County came out hot and the T-Birds couldn't match the Cougars. Collin County cut the T-Birds' lead to one point, 39-38, with 13:46 left in the game. By the time there was 9:01 left in the game, NMJC was down 49-48. With just over three minutes left in the game, NMJC and Collin County were tied at 57-all. The teams traded the lead back and fourth during the final minutes, but the T-Birds came out on the short end. NMJC scored just 28 points in the second half while Collin scored 37.
With the loss, NMJC finishes its season at 21-10.