Njock Sinks Free Throws In Final Seconds To Send Blinn Past McLennan

Njock Sinks Free Throws In Final Seconds To Send Blinn Past McLennan

Four days after Carpenter lifted the Blinn College men’s basketball team to a victory over Temple College with a pair of game-sealing free throws, Njock delivered a similarly decisive blow to push the Buccaneers over McLennan Community College 71-68 in a non-conference tilt Saturday at the Kruse Center in Brenham. 

With Blinn (5-4) leading just 69-68 with 33 seconds remaining, McLennan came up short on a 3-pointer attempt and Njock pulled down the rebound before being fouled by the Highlanders. 

The 6-foot, 8-inch freshman forward from Winterthur, Switzerland, made both free throws with 11.2 seconds to go.

“You get nervous in those moments, but I was trying to remind myself to remember the fundamentals and what I’ve learned in practice,” Njock said. “When I step on that line, it’s just me and the basketball, like tunnel vision, and it’s just about focusing on making those free throws. They went in and from there it was about getting back on defense and getting the job done.”

McLennan attempted another 3-pointer in the final seconds, but Blinn’s heavy-pressure defense forced another misfire before the loose ball went out of bounds. The Highlanders later had one more opportunity, but a full-court heave missed its target.

Blinn has now won two consecutive games and three of its last four.

The Buccaneers led 36-32 at the half and built a 56-44 advantage almost midway through the second half before McLennan stormed back with a 15-2 run to grab a 59-58 edge. 

The two teams traded buckets before freshman guard Damian Watson gave Blinn the lead for good with a single free throw with 33 seconds to play.

That set the stage for Njock. 

“For him being so young, and for it being his first time stepping into a big moment at this level in a big arena like ours against a big-name team like McLennan, it’s amazing and says a lot about his character,” Blinn sophomore Connor Raines said.

(Pictured right: Blinn College’s Calvin Carpenter)

Sophomore wing Calvin Carpenter led the Buccaneers with 22 points, including 14 in the second half. Raines followed with 15, Watson tallied 13, and Njock chipped in nine. 

Blinn’s season will continue Monday, Nov. 22, with a 7 p.m. bout with Strength ‘N Motion. Blinn head coach Scott Schumacher will chase his 600th career victory after Saturday’s win put him at 599.

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