Blinn College head coach Scott Schumacher gifted the reserves with extended playing time and the freshmen responded with a pair of 20-point performances to send the Buccaneer men’s basketball team into the semester break with a 98-77 victory over the Houston Hurricanes at the Kruse Center in Brenham, Texas.

“Our teammates do this every game, so it was our turn to come out and have a big game,” Jackson said. “We wanted to give them a break – the sophomores and older guys who have been carrying us – and we really wanted to go into Christmas with a win. Now I think everyone is going to have a Merry Christmas.”

Blinn (8-7) overcame an early 13-point deficit with a 19-5 run and went into halftime with a 52-36 cushion.

Jackson scored 10 of his 20 points in the first half while Marshall tallied 13 after the intermission. Jackson also had seven rebounds.

Marshall hit a trio of 3-pointers in the second half as the Bucs pulled away.

“In games like this, everybody gets off the bench and gets to have fun,” Marshall said. “Some guys that normally don’t play as much got to play and it was good to see.

“Everybody wants to see their teammates win. We’re always together as a group, and we keep each other up out there.”

The Hurricanes made it a 57-50 ballgame early in the second half, but a 16-6 Blinn burst put the hosts in control.

Freshmen Maurice Pinnock and Alex Tsynkevich also finished in double figures for the Buccaneers with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

“The good thing about this game was that everybody got to play,” Schumacher said. “Those guys who were our leading scorers tonight haven’t played a lot for us, but they’re very good basketball players who have been practicing hard since day one and they deserved it.

“Plus, we got a win going into the break and that’s a good thing.”

Blinn will resume its season with a Region XIV home matchup against Tyler Junior College at 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 3, at the Kruse Center.

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