The home victory at the Kruse Center in Brenham, Texas, pushed the Buccaneers to 14-6 overall and 8-2 in the Region XIV South Zone. Blinn has won five consecutive games, with all five coming against conference foes. The Bucs have a firm grasp on second place in the South, trailing only No. 10 Lee College (10-0).
“I give credit to Port Arthur for not allowing us to pull away. We got a decent lead, and they wouldn’t stop coming at us, but our guys played well, and I was proud of them for getting the win,” Blinn head coach Scott Schumacher said. “Every time you win in this region, it’s going to be a good two or three days that you get to enjoy it.”
(Pictured: Blinn College sophomore guard Marco Foster shoots over the Lamar State College-Port Arthur defense during a game Jan. 21)
Blinn was able to enjoy its latest win thanks to a mid-first half run which erased a 17-0 Port Arthur lead and put the hosts ahead for good.
A floater from sophomore guard Elijah Elliott kickstarted a 30-13 move as the Bucs built a 40-30 cushion with 2:24 to go in the first half. Nine straight points during the big push, scored by freshman guard Masiah Gilyard, Elliott, and sophomore guard Marco Foster, helped put Blinn ahead for good.
The Bucs took a 46-36 edge into halftime.
“We had to just keep shooting and forget about the previous shots we took,” said Foster, who scored a team-high 24 points. “We had to keep going and use some opportunities underneath to get out of that early funk.”
The Seahawks made things interesting with a second-half run and pulled within 72-66 with less than seven minutes remaining. Elliott answered with a 3 at the 6:36 mark, however, sophomore guard Bakari Marshall added a trey of his own, and two 3s from Foster late helped ice the game in the final minutes.
Elliott finished with 22 points, Gilyard had 14, and sophomore guard Damian Watson and freshman forward Jamine Charles tallied 10 apiece. Ten different players scored at least two points for the Bucs.
“We all believe in each other, so getting each other the ball helps us find our groove,” Gilyard said. “We believe in each other to score the basketball when given the opportunity.”
Blinn is now head for a showdown with Lee, as the South’s top teams will battle it out at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25, in Baytown, Texas.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 42 NJCAA national championships since 1987.