November 14, 2018 / Trailblazers pick up road win, remain undefeated
CARTERVILLE, Ill. -- In a battle of NJCAA Division I Top 20 teams, the Vincennes University Men’s basketball team came away with a road win over District 16 foe John A. Logan Wednesday night.
Keith Clemons poured in a career-high 26 points to lead the No. 6 Trailblazers to a 85-67 win over the No. 19 Volunteers.
With the win, the Trailblazers improve to 6-0 on the season -- 1-0 in district play -- Logan (4-1, 0-1) suffers defeat for the first time.
Clemons, who entered the game with a team-leading 15 points per game, made good on 8 of 16 shots from the field, including 4-for-7 from behind the arc.
The sophomore’s previous career high was 22 points -- on three separate occasions.
Clemons also dished out five assists.
“Keith just continues to grow,” Trailblazers coach Todd Franklin said of his starting point guard. “This position is still new to him, he’s still learning, growing and he’s winning while doing it all.”
Clemons also drew the defensive assignment on the Vols preseason All-american David Sloan.
Clemons held him in check most of the night, as Sloan managed just 11 points on 4-for-10 shooting.
The VU defense as a whole had a dominating first half.
The Trailblazers built a 41-24 lead at intermission by holding JAL to just 17 percent (4-for-23) shooting from the floor. VU entered the game leading all of NJCAA Division I in defensive field goal percentage at just over 27 percent.
“I thought our defense played good in the first half,” the Hall of Fame coach stated. “When you can come on the road and hold a Top 20 team down like that on their home floor, it’s saying something.”
The Vols stayed within shouting distance by connecting on 15 of 24 shots from the free throw line in the first half.
The two teams played even in the second half, trading points back and forth.
Logan shot 53 percent from the field over the final 20 minutes of play and 38 percent for the game.
The Trailblazers connected on 31 of 63 shots from the floor in the game -- 49 percent -- including going 8-for-15 from distance.
Kevin Kangu also set a new career best during the win with 17 points. His previous high came in the season opener when he scored 14 against Kankakee. Kangu connected on 3 of 4 shots from 3-point range Wednesday night.
“He really took his shot and made some with conviction late in the game,” Franklin said. “That is how he needs to approach the entire game. We think he is just starting to scratch the surface.”
Lony Francis, Jr. (14) and Jordan Lyons (10) also reached double digits in scoring for VU.
Francis and Lyons both pulled down six rebounds.
Franklin mentioned although the season is still young, he likes the direction his team is headed.
“It’s still only Nov. 14 but I think we have a pretty good team,” he said. “Anytime you can go on the road and pick up a district win it’s a good thing. We still have plenty of room to grow, but the team is playing well.”
The Trailblazers are back in action next Tuesday with playing host to District 16 opponent Southeastern Illinois.
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