TYLER, Texas – After 20 minutes of play, the Blinn men’s basketball team was in control of the top-seeded Paris Dragons at the Region XIV Conference Tournament.
But as dragons are known to do, Paris scorched the second half and defeated the eighth-seeded Buccaneers 82-67 here Thursday, ending Blinn’s season.
“I thought we played a great first half,” Blinn (18-14) coach Scott Schumacher said. “We were very focused and executed our offense.”
The numbers don’t lie: Blinn shot 44 percent from the field to Paris’ 27 percent; the Bucs were 43 percent from 3-point land to Paris’ 11 percent; and Blinn shot 100 percent (6 of 6) on free throws to Paris’ 60 percent (12 of 20).
Paris changed the game early in the second half.
The Dragons, who trailed by four at halftime, went on an 11-2 run to take a 40-35 lead with 16:26 to play. With the momentum swing, Paris switched to a full-court press that disrupted the offensive production Blinn put up in the first half.
“That hurt us,” Schumacher said. “They were able to take control of the game after that.”
With less than 10 minutes to play, the Dragons pulled ahead 61-47.
Paris shot 53 percent from the field in the second half to Blinn’s 28 percent, and the Dragons drained 57 percent of their 3-pointers to Blinn’s 11 percent.
Though the most telling statistic of the game, Schumacher said, were Paris’ 15 offensive rebounds.
“When you get offensive rebounds, you don’t have to worry about running your offense, you just have to worry about putting the ball back up,” he said.
Sophomore Cornell Barnett scored 15 points and pulled down eight rebounds for Blinn. Jourdan Stickler added 14 points and Jalan McCloud dropped 10.
Jovan Austin, who helped spark Paris’ early second-half run, scored 20 points.
For more information on Blinn men’s basketball, visit www.buccaneersports.com.