Defense propels Blinn women to overtime victory, 61-56

JACKSONVILLE, Texas – For the first time all season, the 11th-ranked Blinn Buccaneers struggled offensively.

Instead, they counted on their defense to claim their 19th win of the season.

Blinn defeated Jacksonville 61-56 in overtime here Saturday behind the strength of a 22-point, 21-rebound performance from sophomore forward Audrisa Harrison.

"I can't remember the last time one of our players had 20 rebounds in a game," said Blinn (19-1, 5-1) coach Jeff Jenkins. "Audrisa played really big. No way we would have won this game without her."

 The teams were tied 54-54 heading into the overtime period. On an afternoon when the Buccaneer offense uncharacteristically struggled, its defense held Jacksonville to just two points in the five-minute overtime period.

"This was the first game we've struggled offensively and won," Jenkins said. "We won by getting defensive stops."

Blinn trailed 39-30 at one point in the second half as the Bucs' perimeter game struggled against Jacksonville's zone defense.

Blinn led by three points with 17 seconds left when Khadijah Carter  drained a 3-pointer with nine seconds remaining to send the game into overtime. Carter finished with a game-high 30 points.

"I'm just glad we played good defense and rebounded," Jenkins said.

Blinn's Jazzmin Parker chipped in 15 points, and the Buccaneers shot 20-of-26 from the free throw line.

With the loss, Jacksonville fell to 10-9 on the season and 3-3 in the Region XIV Conference.

The Buccaneers will look for their 20th victory of the season Wednesday when they host Tyler Junior College for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off in the Blinn P.E. Building.