The Dodge City Conquistadors may have been home, but they didn't feel the warm shooting hand on the United Wireless Arena floor in a 56-48 setback to New Mexico Junior College in a Friday night Conq Classic showdown.
Dodge City shot 16-of-49 as a team against the Thunderbirds as the Conqs didn't have much luck getting into any kind of offensive rhythm.
"It was one of those night we couldn't get anything going," said Dodge City head coach Kyle Campbell. "We played well defensively, but it comes down to fundamental mistakes. We were only 13-of-21 from the free throw line and 3-of-18 from 3-point range. You're not going to win many games like that we just couldn't buy a bucket tonight."
Victor Adams was the only Conq to score in double digits with 13 points, but he was 4-of-16 from the field. Dodge City only had nine offensive rebounds in the game and were outscored 10-5 in second chance points.
Desmond Lee scored 23 points to lead the Thunderbirds in scoring, including 14 points in the second half.
Neither team shot the ball well in the first half with Dodge City making only five of its 22 attempts, while the Thunderbirds were 8-of-21 after 20 minutes of play. New Mexico didn't reach double digits until 6:30 left before intermission, but closed out the half with a 9-2 run for a 21-16 halftime lead. The Conqs didn't make a field goal in the final five minutes of the stanza.
The Conqs continued to have trouble getting the ball in the hoop in the start of the second half, not making a field goal in the first four minutes after intermission with New Mexico extending the lead to 28-19. Dodge City was able to cut the margin down to three a couple of times and to 46-44 with 2:49 left in regulation, but the Thunderbirds hit their free throws and got a couple of offensive rebounds to solidify the win.
"We gave them four extra opportunities on free throw blockouts by letting them get the offensive rebounds," Campbell said. "We guarded and gave ourselves a chance. We just didn't execute down the stretch. It's just the little things and we don't have that much room for error to get some wins."