Buccaneers eliminated by Kilgore in quarterfinals, 71-63

JACKSONVILLE, Texas - Blinn women's basketball scored 24 points in the final quarter, but five three-pointers in the final five minutes allowed Kilgore top the Buccaneers 71-63 in the Region XIV quarterfinals Wednesday night at the John Alexander Gymnasium.

"I am very proud of our fight tonight and when we cut it to one in the fourth quarter I thought we would win," said Jeff Jenkins, Blinn head coach. "Give Kilgore's guards credit because they made some tough shots."

With the loss, Blinn ends the season with a 15-16 overall record and went 8-12 in Region XIV regular season play.

Jade Rochelle led the offense and defense with 15 points, nine rebounds and two steals, while Missy Archie scored a season-high 14 points. Ke'Asia Williams was next with 12 points and seven rebounds, while Kayla Konarik posted nine points and five rebounds. Rayanna Carter led Blinn with six assists, while Kyler Wyatt followed with four.

The Buccaneers entered the fourth quarter down 46-39 but showed a great level of strength as they fought to close in on Kilgore 52-51. Alexus Wykoff sparked Blinn's 10-6 run while Williams led it with four points. A layup by Carter put Blinn one-point behind Kilgore with 5:06 left to play.

Kilgore came up with a boost of energy in the next three minutes and managed to hit four shots from downtown to pull away 66-53. The Buccaneers worked quickly to string together an 8-0 run in the final two minutes of play led by Konarik and Rochelle with three points apiece. However, Kilgore hit its' fifth three-pointer in five minutes to pull away and eventually take the win.

In the opening quarter Kilgore jumped out to a 16-12 lead that Blinn never could grab. After falling behind 7-0 to open the game, Blinn evened the score 11-11 with 3:15 left in the quarter before Kilgore pulled ahead again.

In the second quarter Rochelle and Archie combined for the first four points for Blinn to stay right behind Kilgore 18-16. Kilgore went on a 9-2 run in the quarter to pull ahead and built a 33-24 lead by the break.

The only quarter the Buccaneers outscored Kilgore in was the third quarter, 15 to 13, as Archie led Blinn with six points. Blinn went on two 5-0 runs to narrow in on Kilgore 41-37. Kilgore scored the final three points of the quarter with five seconds on the clock to hold a 46-39 lead into the fourth quarter.

"I love my five sophomores and they represented Blinn College in the most positive ways on and off the court," Jenkins said. "They will be missed."

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 36 NJCAA national championships since 1987.