Blinn falls just short of comeback against Tyler, 70-66

BRENHAM, Texas – The Blinn Buccaneers outscored the Tyler Junior College Apaches 39-32 in the second half, but it wasn't enough for the win after a slow start. Blinn fell to Tyler 70-66 on Wednesday night in the Kruse Center.

"We didn't start out well in the first half and put ourselves into too big of a hole," said Jeff Jenkins, Blinn head coach. "In the third quarter, we got stops and we hit shots, but we have to start our games like that. We need to put four good quarters together."

Alanna Spencer posted a team-high 15 points, while leading the Buccaneers with five three-pointers. Jade Rochelle was next with 13 points, and Aaliyah Holmes and Ke'Asia Williams followed with nine each.

Tied 7-7 with less than five minutes in the opening quarter, Tyler managed to pull ahead 18-11. In the second quarter, Tyler outscored Blinn for a 38-27 lead at the half. However, in the third quarter the Buccaneers gained momentum to score 23 points.

The 23 points allowed Blinn to pull within five points of the Apaches heading into the final quarter. Rochelle led Blinn with eight points in the third quarter and sparked the rally by scoring the first four points. Trailing 48-36 with 5:15 remaining in the quarter, Alexus Wykoff hit a two-pointer to kick-off an 11-0 run that cut the deficit to 48-47.  Spencer came up with her second shot from downtown in the quarter to even the score 50-50 with a minute left. Blinn never grabbed the lead as Tyler scored the next five points to head into the final quarter ahead 55-50.

"The third quarter shows the potential of what this team can be," Jenkins said. "They are great kids and practice so hard, but we have to get better as individual basketball players."

Tyler managed to lead the entire final quarter despite the Buccaneers ending the game on a 12-3 run. With less than five minutes remaining, Spencer started the rally with her fourth shot from downtown. With 52.2 seconds remaining, Spencer hit another shot from downtown for Blinn to narrow in on Tyler 68-66. Tyler made its final basket in the final seconds for the win.

The loss drops Blinn to 9-10 overall and 3-7 in Region XIV play.

The Buccaneers will be back at the Kruse Center to take on No. 8 Trinity Valley on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m.

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 36 NJCAA national championships since 1987.