TYLER, TX -- Five different Buccaneers scored in double figures here Thursday afternoon to send the Blinn College men’s basketball team to the quarterfinals of the Region XIV Basketball Tournament.
Blinn defeated Coastal Bend College 104-70 at Wagstaff Gym behind the strength of a balanced scoring effort, including 19 points from sophomore guard Dre Evans, 18 from sophomore forward Joel Wright, 17 from sophomore guard Miles Dixon, 16 from freshman guard Daishon Knight and 10 from sophomore guard Craig Smith.
Sophomore forward Titus Rubles, the Bucs’ leading scorer on the season, added eight points and a team-high 11 rebounds. Shamel Williams and Elijah Jones each grabbed seven boards for the Buccaneers. Blinn out-rebounded Coastal Bend 54-31.
“In a tournament like this, it’s not going to be five or six guys,” Blinn coach Tra Arnold said. “It’s going to take eight or nine, even 10 guys to do something special.”
Blinn (25-6), which entered the tournament as the fifth seed, will now face fourth-seeded Trinity Valley at 3 p.m. Friday. Trinity Valley received a bye in the first round.
This marks the second year in a row the Buccaneers have advanced to the Region XIV Tournament quarterfinals.
Evans, who transferred to Blinn from Providence University, shot 3-of-6 from 3-point territory and made all eight of his free throws.
“Dre made some big shots,” Arnold said. “When Coastal Bend pulled within 10 or 12 points and started to make a run, he hit some big threes for us. He’s a tireless gym rat and he’s always working on his game, so he deserves it.”
Dixon was 8-of-13 from the floor, and Smith came off the bench to hit 4 of his 5 shots, including both his 3-point attempts.
The Buccaneers shot 56.5 percent for the game compared to just 31.9 percent for Coastal Bend.
Coastal Bend (20-10) was led by La’Darrien Williams, who scored a team-high 15 points. Coastal Bend didn’t play a Region XIV schedule but qualified for the tournament by defeating Angelina College in a play-in game Monday.
For more complete tournament coverage, including live broadcasts of the games, visit www.region14hoops.com.
Blinn’s women’s basketball team plays Paris Junior College in a first-round game at 8 p.m. Thursday.