Smiles were on display up and down the Blinn College bench Saturday, and when the final buzzer sounded, those looks of joy quickly spread to the five Buccaneers on the Kruse Center hardwood.
There was plenty to be happy about after Blinn dominated Region XIV counterpart Coastal Bend College from start to finish en route to a 106-60 victory in Brenham, Texas.
“I’m always amazed by our team,” said Blinn freshman Hannah Humphrey, who led the Bucs with 20 points. “We always play really well and I think we play better than even we think we can play. We’re just having a lot of fun right now.”
Everyone got in on the fun Saturday as all 12 Buccaneers scored at least two points to help Blinn improve to 13-0 overall and 2-0 in regional play.
Humphrey had a big day with three 3-pointers in the first quarter and three more in the third, and five other Buccaneers scored 10 or more points. Freshman Allana Thompson finished with 17, sophomore Deja Adrian and freshman Skylar Barnes each added 11, and freshmen Makayla Patterson and Telisha Brown chipped in 10 apiece.
“We all just have this confidence and trust in each other to where it’s like, ‘If I pass you the ball, I believe you can make it,'” Barnes said. “We just have that belief in each other that anybody on this team can score.”
The outcome of the game was never in question after Blinn went on a 10-0 run to begin the contest. Eighth different Buccaneers found the basket in the opening period as Blinn built a 30-8 lead.
The Buccaneers’ cushion swelled to 58-27 at the half and 86-47 heading into the fourth quarter.
(Pictured with ball: Blinn College’s Allana Thompson)
Blinn led by more than 50 points for a portion of the fourth period and broke the century mark with 4:30 remaining when Barnes knocked down a jump shot to make it 101-51.
Buccaneers head coach Jeff Jenkins said after the game that he could only recall one other time in his 20-year career at Blinn that his team entered the holiday break undefeated. It happened most recently during the 2012-13 season, when Blinn opened the season 16-0 and didn’t suffer its first loss until Jan. 9, 2013. The Bucs finished 37-4 that year and reached the quarterfinal round of the NJCAA Women’s Basketball Championship.
“This doesn’t happen very often, and I’ve had some very good teams that have lost two or three non-conference games before Christmas,” Jenkins said. “This is totally unexpected, but we’re very unselfish offensively and that does a lot of good for us. For us to be good in the second semester, we’re going to have to be better defensively, so when we come back after Christmas, we’ll still have some things to work on if we’re going to continue improving.”
Blinn will resume its season with its final non-conference tilt, a rematch against McLennan Community College, at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 3, in Waco, Texas.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 42 NJCAA national championships since 1987.