Win or lose Wednesday night, Blinn College head men’s basketball coach Scott Schumacher promised his team a day off from all basketball activities Thursday.

The Buccaneers ensured their rest day would be a good one.

Blinn erased an early seven-point deficit with a big offensive run and dominated eighth-ranked Lee College in the second half to earn an impressive 88-68 Region XIV victory at the Kruse Center in Brenham, Texas.

“I told our guys on Tuesday that I think what holds us back sometimes is that we get too sky high one game or during a practice, and then the next game we’re not straight lined emotionally for 40 minutes,” Schumacher said. “So no matter what happened tonight, we were prepared to give them a day to take a deep breath, relax, and get ready for another tough basketball game against Angelina.”

The Bucs (15-6, 6-4 Region XIV) can now take some serious momentum into Saturday’s 4 p.m. road tilt at Angelina College (in Lufkin, Texas) thanks to a buzzer-to-buzzer showcase against Lee.

The Navigators, the leaders of the Region XIV South, built an early 17-10 advantage thanks to some hot shooting, but Blinn (tied for second in the South) flipped the script on the visitors with some sharpshooting of its own.

Anthony Isaac 2023-24
(Pictured: Blinn freshman wing Anthony Isaac (0) goes up for a shot during a game against Lee College on Jan. 31, 2024)

With 13:25 left in the first half, sophomore guard Nick Folk found freshman wing Anthony Isaac on a nifty bounce pass in the paint, and Isaac turned the give into a layup. Isaac’s bucket ignited a 40-18 run which bled into the second half. Strong shooting from the 3-point line helped the Bucs surge to a double-digit lead in the final moments of the opening half as Folk hit from long distance, freshman guard Reese Miller hit back-to-back shots from the arc, and sophomore guard Masiah Gilyard drilled a trey from deep.

Blinn led 46-35 at the break.

“We knew before the season started that this game against Lee was going to be one of the biggest of the season for us,” Miller said. “Lee has always been Blinn’s biggest competition, so we mentally prepared for a dog fight and came out ready to go.”

Blinn’s hot shooting from 3-point range also opened up opportunities down low for Isaac, who made his presence felt in the paint en route to a 16-point first half. He continued his stellar first half with a pair of layups to start second-half play and finished with a team-high 22 for the game.

“My teammates always find me in the right spots, and I’m always trying to put myself in the right spots to get a pass and score,” Isaac said. “I think my skills down low are a really strong part of my game, so when I get the ball in the paint it’s time for me to go to work.”

The Bucs’ lead grew to as many as 27 points twice in the second half.

Miller followed Isaac with 18 points, including four 3s, Gilyard had 14 points and 13 rebounds, sophomore forward Jamine Charles had 12 points, and Folk tallied 10. Gilyard and sophomore guard Patrick Neal Jr. had six assists apiece.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for (head) coach Nicholas Wade and what they do at Lee; they have a great program, and they do a great job,” Schumacher added. “My hat’s off to our guys. They were focused, they did exactly what we asked them to do, and they executed. I’m just very impressed with our players because, wow, those guys played really well tonight.”

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

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