BRENHAM, Texas — Despite the Blinn College men’s basketball team (12-4, 2-3) holding an eight-point lead in the first half, No. 14 Panola College was able to rally back for a 99-89 win on Monday night in the Kruse Center.
“I thought our guys played really well, but Panola is a really good team,” said Scott Schumacher, Blinn head coach. “I thought that we guarded them really well in the first half and competed, but they went on a run with some three-pointers and we didn’t respond the way that we should have, so it is disappointing.”
Tristan Ikpe led the Buccaneers’ offense with 22 points, AJ Rainey followed with 18, and Pedro Castro came up with 12.
The Buccaneers raced to a 16-9 lead within the first four minutes of play after going on a 9-0 run led by Calvin Carpenter with five points. Blinn stayed ahead until Panola hit a 3-pointer with 6:09 left to lead 34-32. Rainey hit a shot from downtown to even the score 39-39 with 2:15 on the clock. The Buccaneers finished the first half on a 13-2 run as Rainey and Markus Vallien each sunk 3-pointers to put Blinn on top 49-41 at the break.
In the second half, Ikpe scored the first seven points for Blinn to put the Buccaneers ahead 56-46. Five shots from downtown allowed Panola to take a 66-63 lead at the 12 minute mark. Panola was able to hold on to the lead for the remainder of the game despite Blinn ending the final half on a 14-6 run led by Ikpe with seven points.
Next, the Buccaneers will travel to play Trinity Valley Community College on Wednesday, January 8, at 7:30 p.m.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 41 NJCAA national c