SHREVEPORT, La. — The Blinn College men's basketball team (22-9, 11-8) opened postseason play with an 89-66 win over Coastal Bend College in the Region XIV quarterfinals Thursday in the Centenary College Gold Dome.
With the win, the Buccaneers advance to the Region XIV semifinals where they will compete against Jacksonville College on Friday, March 6, at 6 p.m.
"I thought our guys were really focused and really executed what we asked them to execute," said Scott Schumacher, Blinn head coach. "I think our length and our size really hurt Coastal Bend in our defensive zone. We moved the ball on offense and we have some very talented individuals who can score, so I couldn't be happier."
Four Buccaneers scored double figures as Tristan Ikpe scored 22, Azariah Seay tallied 21, Markus Vallien totaled 13, and Pedro Castro recorded 12. On defense, Castro came up with 10 rebounds to record a double-double, while Ikpe followed with nine.
Blinn led 36-24 at the break after Vallien led the offense with eight points and Nic Tata and Ikpe followed with six apiece in the first half. Led by Vallien's five points, the Buccaneers took an early 8-4 lead. Following a Coastal Bend 3-pointer for the Cougars to gain on Blinn 12-11, the Buccaneers went on a 9-2 run led by Ikpe's four points. Vallien made his second 3-pointer of the game to give Blinn a 10 point lead (30-20). Blinn finished the half on a 6-2 run for a 12 point lead.
The Buccaneers continued to dominate in the second half, putting up 53 points. Ikpe led the offense in the final half with 15 points, scoring 10 of Blinn's first 13 points. Seay scored 11 straight points for the Buccaneers to lead 62-41 at the 10:58 mark. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Vallien and Seay put Blinn on top 83-58 with 4:18 left to play. Blinn added six more points to the board in the final three minutes for the 23 point win.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 41 NJCAA national championships since 1987.