Blinn Rallies Past Western Texas Behind Defense, Offensive Run
Following a two-game road trip to start the season, it appeared the Blinn College women’s basketball team’s offense and defense were late returning to Brenham.
When they finally joined the Buccaneers at the Kruse Center on Saturday, it was Western Texas College which looked ready to hit the road.
Blinn struggled to defend and put the ball in the basket for the first 13 minutes of its non-conference home tilt against the Westerners and trailed by 14 early in the second quarter. But the Buccaneers put both phases of the game together just before halftime, erupting
for a 23-0 run before holding on for a 75-65 victory.
“I always think it’s defense; we gave (Wester) way too many easy shots in the first quarter,” Jenkins said. “For an opponent to score 22 points on us in the first quarter, that means we’re not defending.
“We gave them easy layups; we fouled; we gave them open 3-pointers. Everything we did in the first quarter I didn’t think was very good. But when we get on a run, it’s usually our defense that leads to our offense.”
Blinn (3-0) trailed 29-15 before freshman guard Telisha Brown ended a 14-4 Westerners run with a floater at the 6:58 mark of the second period. Brown’s basket ignited the Buccaneers’ surge as the hosts stiffened defensively to limit Western to just two points for almost 10 minutes.
In the meantime, six different players scored for Blinn to fuel the comeback.
Freshman guard Kaidance Glenn followed Brown’s bucket with a layup, and after a Western jump shot, Brown followed with a 3-pointer. Freshman forward Tiffany Tullis then scored a layup on an assist from sophomore forward Deja Adrian, and freshman guard Jakoriah Long knocked down a 3 with 1:29 left in the first half to pull Blinn within 31-27.
The Buccaneers then converted a steal into fastbreak points as freshman guard Makayla Patterson scored on a layup in transition, and Brown capped the second-quarter outburst with a free throw with 1 second left in the period to trim the Westerners’ lead to 31-30.
“We started off slow, but coach told us, ‘Keep going, keep going,'” said Brown, who had 16 points for the Buccaneers. “Our defense started slow, but shots were going to knock down for us eventually, so we had to lock in and get stops, and then our shots started hitting.”
Blinn took the lead for good in the third quarter as its run closed with eight straight points to begin the second half.
Brown sank a trey before freshman guard Allana Thompson followed with a 3 of her own, and Tullis drove to the basket through traffic for a layup and a 38-31 cushion.
Western ended its drought with a 3-pointer at the 7:15 mark of the third quarter.
The Buccaneers would build a double-digit edge with a quick 7-0 spurt, capped by a fastbreak layup from freshman forward Amillion Fowler that made it 45-34 in favor of Blinn, but the Westerners refused to go away.
An 8-0 push had the visitors back in the game at 45-42 in the final minutes of the third quarter.
“They played us tough,” Jenkins added. “But that’s where our defense had to step up there late to give us a chance to create some breathing room.”
Patterson helped deliver that needed space with a pair of treys inside the final 1:20 of the quarter as the Buccaneers jumped ahead 54-42.
“We were getting those shots the whole game, they just weren’t falling in the first half,” said Patterson, who scored a team-high 17 points. “We just kept creating the same shots because we knew they were going to start falling eventually, and they did when we needed them to.”
Blinn led 54-46 heading into the third quarter, but the Westerners continued to fight and were within 62-59 with 4:29 left to play, and 68-65 with 1:55 to go.
But Brown buried a 3 at the 1:37 mark, and two free throws with less than a minute to play to help seal the victory. Patterson closed things out with a floater with 18 seconds left.
On the day, Blinn sank 11 3s.
Glenn finished her day with 10 points and Fowler finished with nine.
Jenkins said he was happy to see his team rally to keep its undefeated streak going in the early part of the season and added that he’s excited to see his team respond as the schedule toughens.
“We’re going to have a lot of ups and downs,” the coach said. ” … but I really do like this team and think in February they’ll have a chance to be pretty good.”
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 42 NJCAA national championships since 1987.