BRENHAM, Texas – Blinn College women's basketball did have the energy or the lead for the entire second half but it did find the energy when it mattered most. The Blinn combination of Chant Lewis and Alexus Freeman was too much for Temple College as the Buccaneers pulled away for a 92-78 victory Nov. 5 in Brenham.
"I thought we played fairly hard," said Blinn head coach Jeff Jenkins. "You know it is just so early in the season and we have to find ourselves."
Freeman scored all of her 22 points in the second half to lead the way for Blinn while Lewis scored 15 of her 19 points in the second half when the Buccaneers really found their stride. Katelynn Johnson also reached double figures with 13 points, scored all in the first half.
Blinn did come away with the 14-point victory but it was a back and forth contest with Temple nearly the entire game.
"Temple is a good team and it is always fairly close when we play each other," Jenkins said. "I still think we foul too much and hopefully as the season goes on we will get better."
Temple even shot out to an early lead to open the game as Kiahna Thompson nailed a 3-pointer to give the Leopards a 16-11 lead with 13:54 left in the first half. The lead stayed at five until Blinn went on a run as Johnson scored four points of a 10-0 run to give the Buccaneers a 23-18 lead with 9:51 left in the first.
Johnson also added a couple of 3-point baskets to help pile up on Temple in the first half to give Blinn a 33-20 lead with 5:20 left until halftime. Temple did take away some of the momentum before the half as Jakki Ellis and Thompson each hit a 3 to help the Leopards cut the Blinn lead down to 37-30 at the half.
The momentum continued for Temple in the second half as Trei Torain made three consecutive baskets in the low-post to get the Leopards within one point at 37-36 with 18:36 remaining. The second half was more of a back and forth event as Blinn fought to keep its lead but Temple eventually grabbed a 61-56 lead after a pair of buckets by Torain and free throws from Thompson with 11:15 remaining.
That would be the last time that Temple would see the lead as Blinn put together a 14-1 run with Freeman scoring nine points during that run for a 70-62 lead with 6:56 left in the game. After a scoreless first half, Freeman saved all her energy for the second half where she dropped in 22 points and sliced through the Temple defense on many occasions.
"We all came together as one and we started to compete and got our stuff together," Freeman said following the game. "The lane was open for me and I had a big guard on me so I knew I could just drive."
Temple tried to get closer to Blinn by getting to the free throw line and finding seems in the Buccaneer defense but with Freeman and Lewis scoring and controlling the offense, Blinn was able to hold off Temple and secure the 14-point victory.
Blinn will next play Howard College in Odessa on Nov. 7 at 4 p.m. and then will play against Odessa College the following day at 4 p.m. as well.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 29 NJCAA national championships since 1987. For more information, visit www.buccaneersports.com.
About Blinn College
Founded in 1883, Blinn is a comprehensive community college committed to educational excellence and to individual and community enhancement. With an enrollment of 19,317 students, Blinn ranks among the nation's leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for affordable educational excellence.
As part of its commitment to student success, Blinn is implementing a Quality Enhancement Plan titled "Destination Success: First-Year Focus," which utilizes learning communities to support first-year college students.
For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.