Blinn women end season at conference semifinals
Second-seeded Tyler rallies in second half, 69-65
TYLER, Texas – The Blinn College women’s basketball team played its best half of the season to open Saturday’s Region XIV Tournament semifinal game against the second-seeded Tyler Lady Apaches at Wagstaff Gym.
It just wasn’t quite enough.
Tyler rallied from a 20-point halftime deficit to defeat Blinn 69-65 and advance to the tournament championship, where it will face Trinity Valley for the conference title and a berth to the NJCAA National Championships.
Blinn led Tyler 45-25 at halftime, but was outscored 44-20 in the second half.
“We played about as good as we could play in the first half,” Blinn coach Jeff Jenkins said. “In the second half, we played about as bad as we could play.”
Blinn hit five 3-pointers in the opening half and out-rebounded Tyler 25-16 while shooting 85 percent from the free throw line.
But in the second half, the Bucs shot just 19 percent and committed 11 turnovers. Tyler out-rebounded the Bucs by 11 after the break.
Sophomore guards Christie Mooney and Miki Turner each scored 20 points, and Alycea Price added 10. Price was starting in place of freshman forward Shaniqua Dogins, who was injured in the Buccaneers’ final regular-season game on Monday. Dogins was the Buccaneers’ leading scorer and was tied with teammate Valencia White for the conference’s regular-season rebounding lead.
Blinn defeated Paris 61-56 in the first round of the tournament on Thursday. The Bucs finish the year with a 22-10 record despite losing three players to ACL injuries before the season even began.
“We’re really proud of our sophomores,” Jenkins said. “They came in and won 18 as freshmen and now 22 as sophomores. It had been three years since we’ve won a regional tournament game and they got us back.”
Secilia Okoye led Tyler with 15 points.
Trinity Valley and Tyler will play for the conference title at 5:30 p.m. Sunday in Tyler’s Wagstaff Gym.
For more information on Blinn women’s basketball, visit www.buccaneersports.com.