A potential game-tying shot in the final seconds of play didn’t go the way of the Blinn College women’s basketball team Saturday as the Buccaneers suffered a tough 56-54 Region XIV home loss to No. 13 Trinity Valley at the Kruse Center in Brenham, Texas.
Blinn dropped to 16-7 overall and 6-3 in the region standings.
“I’m extremely proud of our girls tonight,” Bucs head coach Jeff Jenkins said. “We had a tough second period offensively, but our players shrugged it off and just fought their tails off to stay in this one. They’re really, really competitive and you just can’t teach that.”
A back-and-forth defensive battle came down to the final moments of action after Trinity Valley took a 56-52 lead with 2:55 remaining.
(Pictured: Blinn guard Tianna Mathis (21) drives to the basket during a game against Trinity Valley Community College on Feb. 10, 2024)
Freshman guard Jonesha made a free throw seconds later before a series of scoreless exchanges ended with freshman forward Tocarra Johnson at the free throw line. Johnson sank the first of her two shots to bring the Bucs within two with 41 seconds to go.
Blinn would get a chance to tie or win the game after the Cardinals were called for an offensive foul that handed the ball to the hosts with 18.5 left. Sophomore Tianna Mathis took the final shot of the game, driving to the paint before lifting a shot over the outstretched arms of a Trinity Valley defender. The shot bounced off the inside of the rim, however, and fell into the hands of the Cardinals as the final buzzer sounded.
“There’s no one else you want to have the ball in their hands at the end of the game than Tianna,” Jenkins added. “The shot just didn’t fall this time.”
Blinn led 16-11 after the first quarter but a tough second period left the Bucs trailing 24-22 at the break. Trinity Valley was ahead just 40-38 heading into the fourth.
The biggest lead of the game for either team came in the fourth period when Trinity Valley sank a jumper and a subsequent free throw following a follow on the play for a 47-40 cushion. Blinn responded with a 12-5 run that tied the game at 52-all.
Offensively, Neal paced the Bucs with 15 points, while freshman guard Chelsy Singleton followed with eight.
Blinn gets back to work when it travels to Paris Junior College for a region bout at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 14, in Paris, Texas.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 45 NJCAA national championships since 1987.