January 23, 2019 / No. 4 Trailblazers surge past Wabash Valley
VINCENNES, Ind. – The No. 4 Vincennes University men’s basketball team overcame an early 10-point deficit Wednesday night against visiting Wabash.
The Trailblazers used a 17-4 run to grab a 32-29 lead with 3 minutes, 38 seconds left in the opening half. The hosts would not relinquish the lead in a 99-87 win over the Warriors inside the P.E. Complex.
Keith Clemons scored a team-high 25 points to pace the Trailblazers and Lony Francis, Jr. recorded a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds.
With the win, VU improved to 17-1 on the season and 7-1 inside District 16 play.
Three straight baskets by Levi Cook gave the Warriors a 25-15 lead with 10:12 left in the first half.
“They always play well when they come here,” VU coach Todd Franklin said of the Warriors. “They are a good quality team and they came out sharp tonight.”
A pair of free throws by Craig Porter followed by five straight points by Kevin Osawe sparked the Trailblazers run.
“We had to take a shot from them,” Franklin said of the start. “But I thought the second 10 minutes of the first half we were locked in and we won those minutes by 16 points. We had not played much lately and it showed, but I thought we were able to knock off some rust there in those last 10 minutes of the first half.”
The Trailblazers led 41-35 at halftime.
VU extended its lead to double digits and maintained no less than a seven point lead the rest of the game.
“I thought we did a nice job of being in control there in the second half,” Franklin said. “We couldn’t quite put it away because they were hitting shots, but we never gave away control either.”
Wabash (12-6) stayed within striking distance as Zion Morgan knocked down 10 of 13 shots from the field for a career-high 25 points.
The Trailblazers never allowed the Warriors to climb all the way back into the game as they finished 30 of 36 from the free-throw line in addition to connecting on 33 of 66 shots from the field.
“We did a nice job of hitting our free throws,” the ‘Blazer coach said. “Our guys did what they needed to do and survived.”
Osawe and Porter finished with 15 and 11 points respectively. Porter added nine boards and five blocked shots.
Jordan Lyons added six points in just six minutes of play off the Trailblazers' bench.
The Trailblazers play host to No. 3 ranked John A. Logan on Saturday with first-place in the district standings on the line.
“I thought we had a little more heat on our fastball tonight,” Franklin said of his team's performance. “Now we just have to see if we can turn it up a little more come Saturday night.”
The Trailblazers gave the Vols their only defeat of the season back on Nov. 14.
Tip-off Saturday is at 7 p.m. inside the P.E. Complex.
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MARCIA MARTINEZ, University Life Reporter & Sports Information Director
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VINCENNES UNIVERSITY, Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu/newsroom