BOSSIER CITY, La. – The Blinn Buccaneers are quickly learning just how important free throw shooting is in the Region XIV Conference.
Bossier Parish Community College defeated Blinn 66-63 here Wednesday night in a contest the Buccaneers led by as many as 11 points in the second half. After taking the lead with 17 minutes left to play, Blinn extended its lead to double digits before Bossier Parish began to rally with about five and a half minutes remaining. With 54 seconds left, the Cavaliers took the lead for good.
The Buccaneers were able to set up a final 3-point attempt at the buzzer, but Darrell Combs' 3-point attempt missed. Combs finished with 12 points.
The Buccaneers shot just 9-of-20 from the free throw line. In the team's two conference losses, it has shot just 22-of-47 (47 percent) from the free throw line. The Bucs are shooting 69 percent in non-conference play.
"We just haven't been able to knock down free throws when we need to," said head coach Scott Schumacher.
Blinn shot 43 percent from the floor compared to 38 percent for Bossier Parish, and had fewer turnovers than the Cavaliers. Freshman forward Rashaun Stimage and sophomore guard T.J. Berry each scored 13, and freshman forward Kendall Deveaux scored 10.
"We played well enough to win. Right now we're just not finishing what we start," Schumacher said. "The final three or four minutes we just couldn't convert on offense and we let them get some open looks."
Bossier Parish improved to 6-1 on the season and 1-1 in conference play, while the Bucs fell to 5-5 on the year and 0-2 in Region XIV. Blinn's five losses have come by a combined 18 points.
The Bucs were coming off a 91-64 non-conference victory over Lone Star College-Tomball on Monday. They will be back in Brenham Saturday when they host Navarro College for a 6 p.m. Region XIV contest at the Blinn P.E. Building.