March 5, 2019 / Lady 'Blazers open postseason with rout
VINCENNES, Ind. - For the third time this season, the Vincennes University women’s basketball team squared off against Southwestern Illinois.
And for the third time, the Lady Trailblazers came away with a lopsided win.
The Lady ‘Blazers opened District P Tournament play with a 73-47 win over SWIC inside the P.E. Complex Tuesday night.
With the win, the No. 2 seed Trailblazers (22-7) advance to Thursday night’s semi-final round which will be played on the campus of Rend Lake.
Despite the lopsided win, VU coach Harry Meeks noted his team will have to play better on Thursday night.
“Games like this when you think you should win, the kids just don’t come out as sharp as they should be,” the veteran coach stated. “But this will be the last game we have like that this year.”
VU won the first meeting with SWIC by 20 points on the road, before scoring a 39-point win in the second meeting.
Tuesday night, the Trailblazers finished with the game shooting just 38 percent from the field (30-for-79).
But the Blue Storm had an even more woeful shooting night, connecting on just 27 percent (14-for-52) from the floor.
One Trailblazer who had a better than average night was sophomore Ivanda Hudjakova. The 5-foot-11 post player netted a game-high 22 points in addition to pulling down 12 rebounds in the win.
“Ivanda did a really nice job of scoring and rebounding again for us tonight,” Meeks said.
The 22 points also marked a new career high. Her previous best was 21 against Shawnee last season.
Hudjakova scored eight points in the first quarter as the Trailblazer led 21-10 after the first 10 minutes of the game.
VU extended its lead to 40-18 at the half and were never threatened in the second half.
The Trailblazers forced SWIC into 33 turnovers in the game, coming away with 19 steals.
Fess Hawkins, who swiped a team-high four steals, pulled down a game-high 19 rebounds to go along with 10 points.
It was the third time this season the freshman has registered at least 19 boards in a single game.
Led by Hawkins and Hudjakova’s combined 31 rebounds, VU dominated the glass with a 50-29 advantage in rebounds for the game.
Reeva Hammelman added nine points in the win, while Jhala Henry finished with eight points.
The Trailblazers (22-7) will face Southeastern Illinois in the semifinals of the tournament on Thursday night.
The two teams split their two regular season meetings.
VU won at home on a buzzer beater, while Southeastern erased a 6-point deficit in the final 26 seconds to win its home contest.
“They know they can beat us so we are going to have to bring our A-game,” Meeks said. “And I take the blame for the last time we played them. We needed a timeout in that last minute and we didn’t have one. That won’t happen this time.”
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