November 17, 2018 / Trailblazers come up short against No. 3 Gulf Coast State
VINCENNES, Ind. -- The Vincennes University Women’s Basketball team gave preseason No. 3 Gulf Coast State all they could handle Saturday afternoon.
The Lady ‘Blazers stormed back from an 18-point second-half deficit before falling 65-61 in the final game of the Sodexo Classic inside the P.E. Complex.
The two teams faced each other in the Gulf Coast Classic last weekend, with the Commodores coming away with a 21-point win.
“They beat us by 21 down there and they really took it easy on us in the fourth quarter or it could have been a lot worse,” Trailblazers coach Harry Meeks said of the first meeting. “But I thought we played extremely hard here tonight, especially during that stretch where we pulled back in it.
“We changed up our defense some and they had a hard time scoring with the looks we were giving them.”
Saturday’s drops VU to 5-3 on the season.
Jhala Henry knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner, off an inbound pass from Cristina De La Cruz-Fuente, to pull the Trailblazers to within 63-59 with 2 minutes, 46 seconds to play.
The trey proceeded back-to-back driving layups by freshman Reeva Hammelman and De La Cruz-Fuente.
But the momentum was quickly dashed away.
Three straight empty possessions -- with two turnovers -- prevented VU from completing the comeback.
“Those two mistakes with the ball moreless sealed our fate,” Meeks said. “We have to get better with the ball especially in the high pressure situations.”
A driving layup by Gulf Coast State’s Lya Farcy pushed the deficit to six with 1:21 left. Farcy’s shot came a split second before the 30-second shot clock expired.
Jaynice Stovall accounted for the final tally with a layup with seven ticks left, but the Trailblazers could not get the ball back.
Stovall scored a game-high 18 points in the loss and added three steals.
Hammelman was the only other Trailblazer to finish in double figures as she recorded 12 points.
Gulf Coast State led 23-18 after the first period and took control of the game with a 9-0 run in the middle of the second frame. The Lady Trailblazers failed to score for 4:32 during the pivotal stretch and had to play catch up the rest of the game.
The Commodores led 40-28 at the break and 61-46 heading into the fourth quarter.
VU trailed 50-32 with 6:31 left in the third before it started to chip away.
Fess Hawkins added eight points and eight rebounds, while Ivanda Hudjakova pulled down a game-high 11 boards.
The veteran Trailblazer coach stated he is pleased with the direction his team is headed.
“We are working extremely hard,” he said. “We never go into a game where we are expecting to lose and I thought we had a legitimate shot of beating them here today. We have shown a lot of progress along the way, bu there is still plenty of room for improvement.”
The Trailblazers return to the court Tuesday evening when they play host to District P opponent Southeastern Illinois. The game will have a 5 p.m. tipoff with the men’s game to follow.
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