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.
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