Buccaneers down Houston Gladiators, 109-87

BRENHAM, Texas — The Blinn College men's basketball team (9-1, 1-0) downed the Houston Gladiators in a non-conference game, 109-87, on Monday night in the Kruse Center.

"That was a tough game for us with the holidays coming up, so I am glad that we were able to get the win and leave here on a positive note," said Scott Schumacher, Blinn head coach said.

AJ Rainey scored a season-high 25 points, Tristan Ikpe recorded a double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds, Cardell McGee tallied 12 points, and Markus Vallien came up with 10 points.

"It is always fun to play basketball with my team, and even though this was a non-conference game, we still took it seriously and wanted to do the best we could," Vallien said. "I am happy that we are still undefeated at home and have protected our home court."

Blinn and Houston played a close game in the first half, but a three-pointer at the buzzer by Rainey gave Blinn a one-point edge entering the second half. Houston jumped out to a 5-0 lead and hung onto it until McGee's two-pointer evened the score 20-20 at the 11:25 mark. A 7-0 run allowed the Gladiators to lead 27-22. Ikpe's two-pointer allowed the Buccaneers to tie the game back up 39-39 and Blinn finished the opening half on a 9-8 run for a 48-47 lead.

In the second half, the Buccaneers gained the momentum to outscore the Gladiators, 61-40. Ikpe scored five points as Blinn went on a 9-0 run to pull ahead 61-49. Following a 6-0 run, Azariah Seay hit a shot from downtown to put the Buccaneers ahead by 20 points, 85-65, with 10:06 left. The Buccaneers finished the game on a 8-0 run that Jacob Paske finished off with a three-pointer for the 22-point victory.

Next, the Blinn men's basketball team will travel to face Navarro College in a conference matchup on Wednesday, December 4, at 7 p.m.

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 41 NJCAA national championships since 1987.