Blinn weathered a tough start in its first matchup since Dec. 11, flexing its offensive and defensive muscles to power past Region XIV adversary Jacksonville College 69-32 at the Kruse Center Saturday in Brenham, Texas. 

The Buccaneers are now 14-0 overall and 3-0 in regional play.

“Terry Gray is a great head coach and had his kids ready to play,” Blinn head coach Jeff Jenkins said. “They used 25 seconds of the shot clock each possession and we’re not used to playing like that … it was a different game for us where we were defending for 25-30 seconds, get a stop and maybe get a rebound, or have to defend for another 25-30 seconds. I think once we adjusted to the pace and got in our own groove, we were fine.”

The change in pace appeared to irk Blinn early as the Jaguars (3-7, 0-4 Region XIV) kept things close before seizing a 20-16 edge late in the first half.

Things began to turn around for the hosts when freshman guard Makayla Patterson knocked down a 3-pointer with 2:28 left in the second period. Patterson’s 3 ignited a 12-0 Blinn run which finished out the half and handed the Bucs a 28-20 cushion.

“We basically just had to get ourselves together,” freshman forward Tiffany Tullis said. “We had to bring ourselves together, adjust to some changing roles, and match what Jacksonville was giving us.”

Blinn built on its offensive momentum after the break, scoring the first 14 points of the third quarter to grab a commanding 42-20 edge.

The Bucs also stiffened on defense, keeping the Jaguars scoreless for more than eight minutes of play. Jacksonville went scoreless for the first 5:42 of the third quarter and managed just 12 points in the second half.

“We had a slow start, but we’ve been putting in the work with coach Jenkins and he prepared us to come back and compete,” said sophomore forward Deja Adrian. “Coach tells us all of the time that defense is going to win us games, so if we keep listening to coach and keep giving our best effort, I think we’re going to continue to win games.”

Freshman guard Skylar Barnes paced Blinn with 14 points, Tullis had 12, freshman guard Allana Thompson had 11, and Adrian tallied nine. 

The Buccaneers return to the court Monday for a Region XIV makeup road game against Bossier Parish at 5:30 p.m. Monday in Bossier City, La. 

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