Blinn falls just short of comeback as Paris claims 75-72 victory

BRENHAM, Texas – Blinn College men's basketball worked hard to outscore Paris 8-2 in the final quarter with less than two minutes remaining, but fell just short of a comeback as Paris Junior College defeated the Buccaneers, 75-72, on Saturday afternoon in the Kruse Center.

"I thought it was a tale of two halves; in the first half we didn't play hard and in the second half we competed and moved the ball," said Scott Schumacher, Blinn head coach. "You have to compete the entire game to beat a team like Paris and we didn't do that."

The loss is Blinn's first Region XIV conference loss of the season as the Buccaneers conference record drops to 1-1 and overall record falls to 7-2.

Gianni Ford led the Buccaneers with 14 points, while Tyrus Grayson followed with 10 points and Bradley George and Markques Houston each chipped in nine points.

Although the Buccaneers entered the second half down 45-30, they competed hard in the second half to score 42 points and hold Paris to 30 points for a thrilling ending. Trailing 72-64 with 1:34 left in the second half, the Buccaneers gained momentum to outscore Paris 8-2. Houston sparked the offense after making three shots from behind the free-throw line and followed with a shot from downtown. Still trailing 74-70, Antione Lister sunk two shots from behind the free-throw line with 32.3 seconds left. Blinn quickly fouled Paris and after the Dragons made one of two shots the Buccaneers were still in the game. However, a missed three-pointer off the rim kept Blinn from forcing the game into overtime.

Paris grabbed an early 9-4 lead in the first half, but back-to-back three-pointers by Grayson and Lister ignited Blinn's offense. A layup by Dante Williams evened the score 12-12, but the Buccaneers could never grab a lead in the game as Paris went on a 14-0 run. A slam dunk by DJ Johnson put an end to the run followed by two free throw shots by Williams. Kae'ron Baker sunk a shot from downtown to end the opening half.

The Buccaneers look to bounce back against conference opponent Bossier Parish Community College on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. on the road.

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