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Blinn men’s basketball falls to Angelina in Region XIV Championship game, 87-73

Azariah Seay and Tristan Ikpe combine for 49 points

SHREVEPORT, La. — The Blinn College men’s basketball team (23-10, 11-8) fell to Angelina College, 87-73, in the 2020 NJCAA Region XIV Men’s Basketball Championship game Saturday night in the Centenary College Gold Dome.

“It is unfortunate that we came out and played a really bad first half, but I give our guys a lot of credit for showing a lot of fight and resiliency,” said Scott Schumacher, Blinn head coach. “We got it to within nine points and had an opportunity to make it a closer game, but unfortunately we couldn’t. I give a lot of credit to Angelina and congratulate them on a great win and the opportunity to represent Region XIV at the national tournament.”

With the loss, Blinn concludes the season with a 23-10 overall record and second-place finish in the Region XIV Tournament.

“This year’s team is a perfect example of why athletics teaches you so much in life,” Schumacher said. “We had a lot of expectations this season, went through some adversity and didn’t play as well as we should have, but then we were able to regroup and finish 7-1 in our last eight games. All 10 of our sophomores are going to graduate and are being recruited to four-year schools to continue their education and play basketball, so I am very excited for what their futures hold.”

Tristan Ikpe, who led the region in rebounds per game, recorded a double-double after leading the Buccaneers with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Azariah Seay was solid in the tournament, scoring double digits in every game, and recording 24 points against Angelina.

The Buccaneers suffered from an early deficit that they never could recover from despite outscoring Angelina by 17 points in the second half. Angelina rushed out to a 22-5 lead midway through the first half. Blinn couldn’t get a big run started and most of Ikpe’s nine points in the half came from the free throw line. Angelina went into the locker room with a 50-19 advantage.

The Buccaneers turned things around in the second half, outscoring the Roadrunners 54-37. Seay scored Blinn’s first six points of the half and made back-to-back 3-pointers to spark Blinn’s offense at the 12:16 mark. The Buccaneers went on a 19-2 run as Ikpe scored 10 points and Seay contributed seven for Blinn to be just 10 points behind Angelina, 72-62. Seay sunk a 3-pointer to close the gap to nine points. However, that’s as close as Blinn got to Angelina as the Roadrunners finished the half on a 13-8 run for the win.