BRENHAM, Texas – Shortly after the ninth-ranked Blinn Buccaneers defeated the Kilgore Rangerettes 72-61 Wednesday night at the Blinn P.E. Building, head coach Jeff Jenkins was presented a plaque commemorating the November victory that made him the winningest coach in program history.
Just minutes earlier, his players had grabbed their own piece of Blinn history with their 26th victory of the season, tying the program mark set in 2008.
"I'm just glad we got a win," said Jenkins, whose team trailed with less than six minutes to go. "We just didn't look like we had much energy and Kilgore was making plays. We just found a way to win."
The Buccaneers (26-1, 12-1 in Region XIV) had to battle to capture their 10th consecutive victory. Led by 13 points from Bladine N'Goran and 10 from Amanda Lawson, the Rangerettes led for much of the second half.
But with 2:25 remaining, sophomore guard Aarika Reyna stole the ball and buried a 3-pointer that gave the Buccaneers a 63-58 lead. It was their first bit of breathing room since early in the period.
"That was a huge three," Jenkins said. "I thought everything was going their way and then all of a sudden, Aarika got a few steals, we hit a few 3-pointers and we opened it up."
Freshman forward Amari Jones hit a 3-pointer of her own with 1:10 remaining to help put the game away.
"She's getting better every day," Jenkins said. "She and Moe Bedford are both very athletic and they're good defenders, and they're both coming off torn ACLs. I think every game and every practice they're getting more comfortable."
Sophomore forward Audrisa Harrison scored a game-high 17 points despite making just one shot from the floor. She was 15-of-16 from the free-throw line.
"Last year she had to sit out with a torn ACL, and she really worked on her free throw shooting during that time," Jenkins said. "She used to really struggle to hit her free throws."
Blinn was without guard Danielle Espinoza, who again sat out with back spasms.
Earlier this season, Jenkins became the winningest coach in program history. Including Wednesday night's victory, he now has a 272-162 career record.
The Buccaneers travel to Pasadena Saturday for a 2 p.m. tip-off against San Jacinto.