BRENHAM, Texas – Blinn College men's basketball faced much more adversity in the second half than it did in the first half but still was able to hold on for a 90-80 victory over Paris Junior College Saturday evening inside the P.E. Building.
The Buccaneers led by 14 at the half and looked to be on their way to an easy victory but Paris fought back to make the game much closer. Blinn fought through the adversity in the second half to improve to 10-1 overall and 2-1 in Region XIV play.
"I love my guys on my basketball team," said Blinn coach Scott Schumacher. "We had two great days of practice to get zeroed in and focused and that showed in tonight's game."
Morris Dunnigan stepped up in the second half with 18 of his 28 points coming in the final 20 minutes to lead the Buccaneers.
Corey Henderson had a solid first half and helped to build the big lead and ended with 19 points.
"The bench really kept us going and staying into the game when Paris made that run in the second half," Henderson said, after the game. "I just tried to keep moving on offense even without the ball to make it hard for them to guard me."
Neither team could get any separation early on until Blinn rattled off 10 consecutive points to take a 31-21 lead with 6:07 left in the half. Henderson scored 13 points in the first half and Harrison and Dunnigan each scored 10.
Blinn ended the first half on a 10-2 run that was started with a driving layup by LaKendric Hyson that gave the Buccaneers a comfortable 45-31 lead at the break.
Paris came out in the second half with a lot of defensive pressure and the Blinn lead quickly shrunk. With a 16-2 run, Paris got within 52-51 with 13:45 to play but Blinn did not let Paris take the lead.
"I thought our guys came out and punched them in the mouth in the first half and they came out and punched us in the mouth and we hung right in there," Schumacher said.
Facing the adversity head on, the Buccaneers built the lead back up with the help of Dunnigan and his 18 points in the half. Dunnigan hit a layup to give Blinn a 68-61 lead with 8:35 left.
Probably the biggest shot for Dunnigan came with Blinn inbounding the ball with one second on the shot clock and Dunnigan hit a falling away prayer 3-pointer from the elbow to put Blinn in control 86-71 with 2:57 left.
From there Blinn was able to maintain its led in the second half as Dukes also chipped in 10 points in the half to give Blinn the 10-point victory.
Blinn will next travel to face Panola College on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
This game was also Adam's Angels Ministry fundraiser game in which Blinn raises money and awareness for Adam's Angels. Adam's Angels Ministry is called to provide care and comfort for families that are in a battle against childhood cancer. The fundraising effort is part of Blinn's annual Adopt-a-Charity program in which all Blinn athletic programs dedicate a portion of their gate proceeds towards a charity. For more information on Adam's Angels Ministry visit www.adamsangelsministry.org.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 32 NJCAA national championships since 1987. For more information, visit www.buccaneersports.com.
About Blinn College
With an enrollment of 19,422 students, Blinn ranks among the nation's leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for affordable educational excellence. For more information, visit www.blinn.edu.