Collin teams drop close games, prep for Thanksgiving tourney

Collin College vs Richland College - Nov. 23, 2019
The Cougars played a physical game against Richland College, which won on a second attempt free throw with just half a second remaining. Photo by KIRK DICKEY

Collin's men's and women's basketball teams will head into tough competition at the annual Collin County Thanksgiving Classic after a rough week, losing a pair of close games. 

Students, staff and faculty get free admission to the Nov. 29-30 invitational tournament held at Collin College's Plano Campus (Spring Creek). All others pay only $3 admission. The tournament offers four games each afternoon and draws talented men's and women's teams from around the area. 

Collin College basketball fans are encouraged to come cheer their teams. The Lady Cougars play at 1 p.m. both days. The Cougars play at 7 p.m. each day. 

The Lady Cougars, who sit at 6-2 overall, lost 80-72 on the road to a surging Blinn College. Lucy Ibeh led scoring with 16 points, followed by Destiny Thurman with 13 and Awatea Leach with 11. Ibeh also led in rebounds with 12, although Blinn outperformed Collin 47-36 overall in that metric. 

The Lady Cougars will have a chance at revenge Jan. 2, when Blinn College comes to Collin College. Next up, though, Collin's women will welcome nationally ranked Tyler Junior College and a 7-1 Kilgore College team to the Thanksgiving Classic, Nov. 29-30. Tyler's No. 10-ranked Apache Ladies are up first on Nov. 29. 

That night, the Collin men's team will welcome No. 5-ranked South Plains College to the Thanksgiving Classic. The following day, the Cougars will face Clarendon College, ranked 21 in the nation.

The games come on the heels of a 69-68 squeaker of a loss to Richland College, Nov. 23. After taking a 2-point lead at the buzzer to end the first half, Collin controlled much of the second period. Turnovers opened the door, however, and Richland was back in the game late in the second half, tying the score with 30 seconds remaining. 

Collin turned the ball over with just over 10 seconds remaining on a play which appeared to be a foul to some observers. While the referees did not blow the whistle on that play, they did on the ensuing Thunderducks possession. A free throw with 0.5 seconds remaining closed out scoring and gave Richland the win.