LUFKIN, Texas – Blinn College men's basketball started fast on the offensive end and its defensive effort helped the Buccaneers pull away for a 63-53 victory over Kilgore College in the first round of the Region XIV tournament Tuesday afternoon in Lufkin.
The Buccaneers clamped down defensively by only allowing 53 points, much lower than they have been allowing in conference of 80.4 points per game. With the win, Blinn improves to 22-9 on the year and will now face conference No. 1 seed and nationally ranked No. 1 Trinity Valley Community College on Thursday, March 3 at 1 p.m.
"I am extremely happy and proud of my guys," said Blinn coach Scott Schumacher. "They played hard and together and that was their goal to win that game."
John Dewey was aggressive from the point guard position and led Blinn in scoring with 17 points while Morris Dunnigan chipped in with 13 points. James Harrison was able to contribute 12 points in the low post and Corey Henderson scored 10 points in the win.
Dunnigan came out scoring early on by dropping in four points in a 6-0 run to start the game. Kilgore would recover in the first half and tied the game at 15-15 but could never take a lead against the Buccaneers.
Clinging to a 24-21 lead with 4:39 remaining, Blinn got back-to-back baskets from Jaequan Brown and LaKendric Hyson and then Harrison put in the final basket of the half to give the Buccaneers a 30-23 lead at the break.
Kilgore scored first in the second half but then Blinn rolled out a 9-3 run that was capped by a 3-pointer from Dewey for a 39-28 lead. Kilgore got within five after a 6-0 run but Dunnigan ended that run with a 3-pointer to give the Buccaneers a 47-39 lead with 9:55 remaining.
Kilgore got to within seven points in the remaining minutes but the Buccaneers were able to put a stop to any built up momentum and kept their lead hovering around double digits for the rest of the game. Kilgore tried putting on defensive pressure trailing 59-51 but Harrison put home a slam dunk and Dunnigan hit two free throws to seal the 10-point victory.
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.