In their final home game as Buccaneers, the Blinn women’s basketball team’s sophomores wanted to leave the Blinn P.E. Building in memorable fashion.
Did they ever.
The sophomores helped lead the Bucs to a 95-47 victory over the San Jacinto Lady Gators to close out their careers on Blinn’s home court.
“I’m not taking this class for granted, because a group like this doesn’t come around every year,” Blinn (23-5, 13-3 Region XIV) coach Jeff Jenkins said.
In two seasons, the sophomore class has amassed a 55-9 overall record—six of those losses coming to No. 1-ranked Trinity Valley Community College.
They’re the second class in the program’s 36-year history to advance to the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship, where, once there, the Bucs won the program’s first games on the national stage and advanced to the Elite Eight—where they ultimately lost to national champion Trinity Valley.
Blinn’s 32 single-season wins last year are the most in program history.
This season, Blinn is averaging 81 points per game, the most in Jenkins’ 12 years with the program. Leading the way is sophomore Fatima Adams, a Bryan Rudder High School graduate, with 22 points per game.
Adams led the way for the Bucs past San Jacinto with a game-best 26 points.
“Fatima is a very special player,” Jenkins said. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a player average more than 20 points in a season.”
Adams was an integral part of Blinn’s run to the national tournament last season. Aside Audrisa Harrison, who’s now playing for Texas Tech, the two posts gave Blinn a lot of athleticism and rebounding talent in the paint. With Harrison gone, Adams has become a clear leader with her play on the court.
“I came to Blinn and I was out of shape and not in the right mindset,” Adams said. “Coach Jenkins and coach Green helped me get in shape, get my mind right and help me grow to a Division I basketball player.”
Adams is Blinn’s all-time leading rebounder and is on the verge of becoming Blinn’s all-time leading scorer, a record she could break in Blinn’s final two regular season games. She is committed to the University of Houston.
Against San Jacinto, Adams not only scored but also gave the Bucs a strong rebounding presence both offensively and defensively, which fed their fast-paced, transition offense.
Blinn started the game on a 10-0 run, and had the game all but put away with a 30-2 lead with 6:52 to play in the first half.
“I thought we got off to a great start tonight and really kept the pressure on them,” Jenkins said. “But San Jacinto is a good team. They’ve got a lot of really good players and have a great coach.”
But Saturday night was all about the sophomores’ farewell.
Late lead slips away from Buccaneers
With 1:12 to play, the Blinn men’s basketball team had the San Jacinto Ravens beat.
Ahead by 12 points, turnovers, missed free throws and fouls cost the Buccaneers an upset over the Region XIV South Zone-leading Ravens.
San Jacinto rallied to a 75-74 victory Saturday at the Blinn P.E. Building.
“I thought we played a great game for 38 minutes and 48 seconds,” Blinn (16-13, 6-12) coach Scott Schumacher said. “Unfortunately we weren’t able to close it out. But I’m still very proud of our guys.”
San Jacinto started its comeback near the 1:03 mark. After hitting 1 of 2 free throws, the Ravens got the offensive rebound, hit the bucket and drew a foul. They nailed the and-one free throw.
San Jacinto then capitalized on two Blinn turnovers, and following a pair of missed Buccaneer free throws, the Ravens drained a three to make it 74-72.
With 15 seconds to play, and Blinn clutching to a 74-73 lead, San Jacinto hit two free throws to pull ahead.
With 2.4 seconds remaining, Blinn took a last-second 3-pointer for the win but missed.
The Ravens made 35 free throws to Blinn’s nine.
Blinn played aggressive and dominated the first half. Freshman point guard Lionheart Leslie, who started for an injured Macari Brooks, was strong in leading the Bucs offense. Leslie was able to drive in the lane, crash the defense and find an open man outside or hit a bucket through a pair of defenders.
But near the seven-minute mark in the second half, Leslie went down with an injured ankle. He wouldn’t return.
For more information on Blinn men’s basketball, visit www.buccaneersports.com.
(Story & photos courtesy: Matt Keyser, Blinn Information)