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."
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 championships since 1987.