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Broncos win big against Strength N Motion

Caleb Hicks scores two of his 14 points on a dunk in the second half of the 93-74 victory over Strength N Motion International on Monday night. Hicks also added 16 rebounds on the night to give himself a double-double. (NMMI Sports Press Photo)

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The New Mexico Military Institute Bronco basketball team picked up their first home win of the season, downing Strength N Motion International, 93-74.

The Institute never trailed in the contest, but it was a back-and-forth game early, until NMMI went on a five-point run midway through the first half. With less than eleven minutes left in the first period, Keith Deloatch hit a an NBA-range three, then assisted Jermaine Carter on an inside pass for an easy two, to put the Broncos up 27-20 – their first of seven seven-point leads in the half.

Deloatch also had a steal and a buzzer-beating three to put NMMI up by ten, 43-33, to end the period.

A fired up Bronco squad extended that lead to 20 in the first three minutes of the second half, then protected that lead, despite lots of playing time for members of the NMMI bench, for the rest of the game.

Five Bronco players poured in double-figures in points, led by freshman guard Isaiah Francis with 21. Francis only had one three-pointer and one free throw in the first half of play, but came alive in the second half while playing primarily in the shooting guard position.

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“Kaleb Hicks’ 16 rebounds and 14 points really stands out, “ said head Bronco coach Sean Schooley. “That’s going to work” “And Keith Deloatch really ran the show from the point guard slot tonight, which let Isaiah play the 2-spot a bit more and showcase his offensive skills.”

Deloatch came close to a triple-double, with 10 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds; 6’7 guard Jermaine Carter had 17 points and eight rebounds; and 6’8 wingman GWarren Douglas contributed 14 points and six boards to round out the rest of the top five.

“I was just proud of the effort,” said Schooley about his club. “We finally got to get loose a little bit and show their athleticism. It was just a much better game all the way around. Strength N Motion is a good team. They play a lot of games and a lot of other junior colleges. But we had 50-plus rebounds as a team tonight, along with shooting above 45 percent. That was the difference. It was the first time this season that we’ve hit both of those team goals. We could have used a few of those shots the other night against NMJC, but it was good for our guys to just relax and play. They really needed this win and I’m very proud of them.”

“We still had too many turnovers,” continued Schooley. “But it’s not nearly as glaring when you rebound and shoot the ball that well. That’s something we’ll just have to continue to work on.”

The Broncos won’t have any time off just yet, however, as the team that has played 11 of their 13 games this season on the road, will resume their road-warrior ways tomorrow night with a contest in Plainview, TX versus Wayland Baptist University JV.

“That’s another game that we just need to take care of business,” said Schooley. “Then get back home and get these guys on a Christmas break.”

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