BRENHAM, Texas – Blinn College men's basketball shook off a rough first half and battled back to be right in the game in the closing minutes but was unable to come back all the way in a 65-63 loss to Panola College to open conference play Wednesday night inside the P.E. Building.
"I thought our guys played hard and competed the whole way," said Scott Schumacher, Blinn head coach. "I thought we had just a few possessions where we didn't compete and we missed a lot of opportunities at the free throw line."
The Buccaneers fall to 0-1 in Region XIV play and 6-2 overall.
Blinn was hanging with Panola in the first half as the Buccaneer got within 22-21 after a basket in the key by LaKendric Hyson with 5:49 left. That is when Panola reeled off 10 straight points to take a 32-21 lead with 3:07 left.
The Buccaneers had nine different players score in the first half with Kesee leading the way with five points. Jaylen Rhone scored the final three points of the half for Blinn but Panola still was able to claim a 34-28 lead at the half.
Panola came out scoring the first five points of the second half to take a 39-28 lead but Blinn was able to find its offense down the stretch. Harrison was able to get a handful of offensive rebounds and put backs for easy points to score 11 in the half. Green scored eight points while Kesee scored seven in the second half.
Blinn slowly chipped away at the Panola lead and got within two at 63-61 after a put back by Harrison with 12.6 seconds left. Unfortunately, Panola was later able to put the game away with two made free throws and held on for a 65-63 victory.
Blinn will continue conference play on the road with a contest at Paris Junior College on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 4 p.m.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 34 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.