KILGORE, TX -- The Blinn College Buccaneers trailed the entire first half, but caught fire in the second half to pull off a 64-57 upset of the Rangers Jan. 12 at Masters Gymnasium.
KC scored first in the second half with a layup by Rodrigue Tha Andela to give the Rangers a 31-25 lead, but Blinn scored the next four points with two field goals by Kai Tease to get within two points of KC, 31-29.
Andela responded with a dunk to go ahead of Blinn 33-29, but the Bucs then went on an 12-0 run to put Blinn ahead, 41-33, with 13:30 left in the second half.
Darrian Grays scored for KC to get within 8 points, 43-35 but Blinn responded by going on another run, 9-2, to put the Bucs ahead 52-37 with 9:30 left in the game.
Grays responded for KC with back-to-back three pointers to cut Blinn’s lead to 11 points, 54-43, with 8 minutes left.
In the next 6 minutes, KC outscored Blinn 10-8, but could not chip enough away from the Bucs' lead.
With Blinn leading 62-53 with 1:40 left in the game, Malachi Davidson made a layup to cut the Bucs' lead to 7 points, 62-55, with 57.3 seconds left.
The Rangers then forced a Blinn half court violation to get another chance to cut the lead, but KC narrowly missed a three-pointer with 23.2 seconds left.
Both teams scored once more to make the final score 64-57.
Blinn's Jaquan Morris led the Bucs in scoring with 18 points.
Kai Tease scored 17 points and Tristan Ikpe came off the bench to earn a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
KC had two players in double figures. Grays came off the Ranger bench to score 18 points (4-of-7 from the three-point line) and Andela scored 10 points.
Malachi Davidson and Jairus Stevens each scored 7 points for the Rangers.
With the loss, KC drops to 12-5 overall and 3-3 in Region XIV play. The loss was KC’s third-straight after starting conference play at 3-0.
Blinn improves to 12-5 overall and 2-5 in conference play.
KC's next game is 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16 versus Trinity Valley Community College in Kilgore.
It's the second game of a double-header with the Lady Rangers facing Coastal Bend Community College at 5:30 p.m.