Some quick hands and determined defense lifted Lamar State College Port Arthur from a 17-point first-half deficit to a double-digit winning margin Wednesday in an 89-78 win over Coastal Bend College.
The Seahawks forced 22 turnovers, 15 of them after falling behind 32-15 with 6:16 left in the first half, and improved to 3-5 in Region 14 play, 9-10 overall win the win over the Cougars in the Carl Parker Center.
They play next on the road Saturday at 4 p.m. at Victoria College then return home Wednesday, Jan. 22, to take on Angelina College at 7 p.m.
Port Arthur sophomore Jamyus Jones scored nine points on 3-of-6 shooting from behind the 3-point arc and also topped the team with five steals.
"We just had to wake up after a slow start," Jones said. "We had to get some intensity, play better defense, speed them up, make them take bad shots.
"It felt real good."
The steals often led to quick buckets for the Seahawks, who shot 64 percent from the floor (18 of 28) in the second half.
Lamar State outscored the visiting Cougars 18-5 in the final 6:16 of the first half, leaving the team from Beeville up 37-33 at halftime. Driving layups by Thomas and Burney tied the game at 37-37 less than a minute into the second half.
That was the first of nine ties on the scoreboard in the first eight minutes of the second period, the loudest a reverse slam dunk at 48-all by Thomas coming on an inbounds pass from Darrell Jones.
Terron Brown's assist preceded a 3-pointer by Banks that put the Seahawks up for good at 62-59 with 10:20 remaining. They upped the lead to 12 points at 79-67 with 5:20 left.
Coach Lance Madison credited the work of West Orange freshman Brown and sophomore Thompson, two reserves seeing a lot of the court lately, with helping to touch off the come-from-behind effort.
"I thought they gave us a lift tonight," he said. "Brown came in and gave us some energy and some rebounds. Thompson got some rebounds too and played a nice game.
It was Thompson's first 10-point scoring game of the season and Brown finished with eight points, his best in Region 14 play, and a season-high 10 rebounds.