The Blinn College men’s basketball team understood what was at stake Wednesday night and allowed that to be the driving force in a 75-66 Region XIV home win over Angelina College at the Kruse Center in Brenham, Texas.

The Buccaneers (21-7, 12-5 Region XIV) already owned one win over the Roadrunners this season, but their regular-season sweep of Angelina gives them permanent control of the Region XIV South Zone’s second seed in the Region XIV Tournament and guarantees them a first-round bye in the 12-team bracket.

Anthony Isaac 2023-24
(Pictured: Blinn freshman Anthony Isaac (0) puts up a shot during a game against Angelina College on Feb. 28, 2024)

“Angelina is really good, and there was a reason we were battling it out with the for the second seed in the South,” Bucs head coach Scott Schumacher said. “They are well-coached, they play extremely hard, and they really guard well on defense. I just thought our guys had a little bit more than they had tonight, and getting the second seed going into the region tournament is huge. It’s always big to finish among the top four teams in our region.”

The Roadrunners almost cleared the hurdle provided by Blinn on Wednesday, trailing 42-28 at the break before pulling within five points of the Bucs multiple times in the second half. Sophomore guard Masiah Gilyard and freshman wing Anthony Isaac played a pivotal role in repelling Angelina behind 18-combined points in the second half. Gilyard and Isaac tallied a team-high 21 points apiece. Isaac also recorded 14 rebounds for his fourth consecutive double-double and 11th of the year. Gilyard chipped in nine boards.

After the Roadrunners trimmed Blinn’s lead to 69-64 with 2:07 remaining, Isaac bullied his way into the paint and scored on a layup to push the hosts’ advantage back to seven at the 1:13 mark. Angelina then converted a single free throw, but sophomore forward Jamine Charles buried a dunk and Gilyard followed with a free throw of his own to end the threat and close out the scoring.

“It was a back-and-forth game, and we knew they were going to come here to battle,” Gilyard said of Angelina. “They did a great job with their scouting report against us, and they tried to limit our possessions and slow the ball movement down, but we were able to create a hump that they just couldn’t get over tonight.”

Charles and sophomore guard Jadin Johnson added eight points apiece for Blinn.

The Bucs have two regular-season games remaining before the postseason begins. Up next, Blinn faces region foe Jacksonville College at 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, in Jacksonville, Texas.

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 45 NJCAA national championships since 1987.

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