Blinn College saw to it that Jacksonville College Homecoming 2013 ended on a rancid note as the Buccaneers and Lady Bucs carved out wins over their respective opponents from JC in a Region XIV doubleheader that took place before an estimated crowd of 800 at the Curtis Carroll Fieldhouse on Saturday.
The Jaguars, who went without the services of two starters and a key reserve (coaches decision) for the first 21:45 of the game, dug themselves into a hole and almost came back to win, only to lose, 53-52, on a buzzer-beater by the Bucs.
The Jags are now 14-6 overall, 5-4 In Region XIV, and are tied for third place in the South Zone standings, along with Coastal Bend College.
The Bucs (10-10, 2-7), despite the upset victory, are still mired in the South Zone basement.
It was a different story, but one with the same final outcome, in the women's tilt as the Lady Jaguars gave a valiant effort against the No. 11-ranked Blinn ladies.
The JC gals (10-9, 3-3) led most of the game, but were outplayed in the final three minutes of regulation and in overtime as Blinn (19-1, 5-1) escaped with a 61-56 decision to remain in second place in the loop standings.
The loss dropped the Lady Jags into fifth place in the league pecking order.
Buccaneers 53, Jaguars 52
With starters Nimrod Hillard IV and Kennedy Eubanks, as well as one of team's key reserves, Chris Singhateh, held out of duty until early in the second half, the Jags were never able to fully get into their uptempo rhythm.
Blinn came ready to play and the Bucs took advantage of the Jags' personnel situation by taking a 22-19 lead into the locker room at halftime.
JC shot an anemic 22.9-percent (8-of-35) from the field in the first half, while also faltering at the free throw line where the Purple and White made just 1-of-6 (16.7-percent) tries in the first 20 minutes of play.
The Jags trailed 50-40 with 3:20 to go in the game before stringing together a 12-1 run to move in front 52-51 with five ticks left on the clock.
Hillard faked a three try from the left wing and instead fired the ball in to Tyrell Springer who drove in from the left side to score form close range to make what appeared to be the game winning shot.
With 4.76 seconds to go, the Bucs managed to do the unthinkable, however.
Blinn's De'Quentin Greer took the inbound pass near the mid-court sideline, not too far from the JC bench area, and then drove the ball down all the way down through the lane and put up a shot in heavy traffic that was no good.
But a johnny-on-the-spot Jefferson Ocoro scored on the put back as the buzzer sounded on the bang-bang play, thus giving Blinn the victory.
Blinn led from the 3:19 point of the first half until Springer made his shot with five seconds left to go in the game.
JC shot the ball nearly twice as much as Blinn in the final 20 minutes but hitting at a paltry 36.1-percent (13-of-36) clip against Blinn's 60.9-percent (14-of-23) shooting did not bode well for the Jags, who saw a four-game conference win streak fall by the wayside with the stunning loss.
Devon Anderson socked away a double-double for JC, scoring 13 points and shagging 11 rebounds.
Daniel Skinner added 10 and Eubanks put in eight for the Jags.
Lady Buccaneers 61, Lady Jaguars 56
Fans were treated to seeing a couple of Region XIV's top players, Khadijah Carter of Jacksonville College and Blinn's Audrisa Harrison hoop it up in this one.
Both women came into the game ranking in the top four in the league in both scoring and rebounding, and both but on a show in the matinee affair.
Carter topped out with a game-high 28 points and 15 rebounds, while Harrison scored 24 points and tallied a game-best 19 boards.
JC took the lead after a Carter bucket from the lane that came with 5:31 to go in the first half that made the score 20-18 in favor of the JC ladies.
JC, who led 27-23 at the break, maintained their advantage until a Tierra Tucker deuce from the paint put Blinn in front 50-49 with 1:57 to go in regulation.
Blinn stayed in front until a Carter three ball from the corner, Carter's only attempt of the day from outside the arc, found its way through the rim to tie things up at 54 with nine seconds left in regulation.
Jinaki Robinson was credited with the assist on the play.
Blinn's Jazzmin Parker launched a baseline jumper from the left side at attempt to win the game in regulation for the Lady Bucs, but the shot was off tis mark.
JC missed its first two shots in the first 90 seconds of the bonus period as the Lady Jags failed at getting the ball to Carter in the critical situations.
“We made some bad decisions late,” Nabi said. “The play I had called had the ball going to the post and we couldn't execute that.”
Blinn then went to work and got back-to-back baskets from Harrison to go ahead 58-54 with 1:28 to go in the extra session.
After the Lady Bucs added a couple of free throws to go up by six, JC finally broke through with a bucket from Jasmine Robinson with just under two seconds to go in the extra segment.
Those points turned out to be JC's only ones in overtime.
Deva'Nyar Workman added 12 points and nine boards for the Lady Jags, before fouling out late in the second half.
Parker ended up with 15 points for the winners.
JC led 27-23 at halftime after outscoring Blinn 20-8 in the paint in the first 20 minutes of action.
“Defensively we played good early on, I thought,” Nabi said. “As it got later in the game we didn't play as well on offense and that hurt us in the late stages.”
JC held Blinn to exactly 20 points below the Lady Bucs' scoring average per game and that is something that Nabi seemed encouraged about.
“We didn't let Blinn, a top-10 team, come in her and score at will on us,” he said. “If we can continue to play at this level we will win our share of games in this league and hopefully our kids will gain some confidence by the effort they gave, particularity on defense, against a strong Blinn team.”
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