Carpenter’s Late Free Throws Lead Blinn Past Temple

Carpenter’s Late Free Throws Lead Blinn Past Temple

With Blinn College’s late-game lead melting away, Calvin Carpenter found ice in his veins.

The sophomore wing drained a pair of free throws with 4.3 seconds remaining Tuesday night and the Buccaneer defense held firm to outlast Temple College 84-81 in non-conference action at the Kruse Center in Brenham.

“It was scary; I’m not going to lie,” said Carpenter, who finished with a game-high 21 points, including 14 in the second half. “There were a lot of 50-50 balls in the air there at the end, so I’m just proud of us playing tough, going for those 50-50 balls, and not quitting on any plays.”

That extra toughness set Carpenter up to put Blinn (4-4) ahead by three points with just 4.3 seconds remaining.

The Buccaneers led 78-73 with three minutes to go before Temple regained the lead behind an 8-2 run.

Freshman guard Damian Watson assisted Tyler Washington‘s backboard jumper with less than 20 seconds to go to push Blinn ahead once more and a pair of desperation 3-pointers from Temple (3-3) were off target. Buccaneer freshman center Tyler Tsynkevich hauled in a rebound off a deflection and quickly dished to Carpenter, who immediately was fouled before moving to the free-throw line.

Carpenter sank both from the charity stripe and Blinn made back-to-back defensive stands to preserve the victory.

A buzzer-beater 3 with .5 seconds left by the Leopards missed the rim as the Buccaneers erupted on the court and from the sidelines.

“I am ecstatic for my guys,” Blinn head coach Scott Schumacher said. “They’re really good players; they’re even better people. We’ve dealt with a tremendous amount of adversity, both on the floor and off, and for them to come through with this victory … I am so happy for them, and they deserve it.”

(Pictured: Blinn College’s Alex Tsynkevich)

The Leopards held a 39-27 cushion with 2:18 to go in the first half and were up 39-33 at the half.

Blinn’s triumph was made a bit sweeter in that it brought the Buccaneers a bit of redemption. Blinn visited Temple on Nov. 9 and fell 85-78 in overtime.

“I think tonight’s win is a result of experience from what happened before … we’ve already played two games in overtime and lost one to Temple,” said Tsynkevich, who added 19 points behind Carpenter. “We knew the mistakes we made in those tough games, we worked on them during our practices, and now we just put everything together and said, ‘Hey, that’s not going to happen again.”

Washington tallied 16 points for Blinn, Watson chipped in nine, and sophomore wing Connor Raines added seven.

The Buccaneers return to action at 4 p.m. Saturday in a rematch against McLennan Community College (9-0) at the Kruse Center.

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 42 NJCAA national championships since 1987.