DECEMBER 1, 2018 / VU Men remain undefeated with home win
VINCENNES, Ind.-- The Vincennes University Men’s Basketball team was pushed early on Saturday night, but pulled away in the second half.
The No. 6 Trailblazers improved to 11-0 on the season with an 85-67 win over Highland, inside the P.E. Complex.
Highland led 16-15 with 12 minutes, 19 seconds left in the first half.
Trailblazer sophomore guard Keith Clemons knocked down a jumper on the next possession for a 17-16 advantage and VU never relinquished the lead.
“They are a good team,” VU coach Todd Franklin said of Highland. “They have been to Hutchinson (for the National Tournament) the last two years. Only 24 teams get to go there. So we knew this would be a tough game.”
Highland stayed within striking distance as the Trailblazers carried a 37-32 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Then Lony Francis, Jr. strapped the team on his back in the second half.
The preseason All-American scored 20 of his game-high 30 points after intermission to help the ‘Blazers pull away over the final 20 minutes of play.
The 30 points set a new career high for Francis, beating his previous high of 24 set last February at Lake Land.
“Lony was tremendous,” Franklin said. “We thought coming in we could had a chance to hurt them with him (down in the post) and that’s what we did in the second half. We called his number for him to get a touch on every possession in the second half. We wanted to go through him.”
After George Dixon scored the first four points of the second half for the ‘Blazers, Francis scored the next eight points for a 49-38 lead with 14:52 left to play. The lead marked the largest lead of the game.
Highland was not able to come closer nine points the rest of the game.
Craig Porter and Colton Sandage both knocked down 3-pointers in the corner, off of passes from Francis in the post, to help put the game away.
“Once they started to collapse down on Lony he did a nice job of being patient and played horse with our outside shooters (Porter and Sandage),” Franklin said. “Those outside shots were a byproduct of them not being able to stop Lony down in the post.”
Both Porter and Sandage added eight points in the win.
Dixon and Clemons scored 16 and 15 points, respectively, to join Francis in double figures.
“Those five guys really gave us some solidary, especially in the second half and we stayed with that line up most of the half,” Franklin said.
Dixon finished with a double-double as he added 11 rebounds.
The Trailblazers won the rebounding battle, 38-26 -- a feat they have accomplished every game this season.
The Trailblazers travel to play at Kaskaskia next Saturday with a 4 p.m. (EST) tip-off.
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MARCIA MARTINEZ, University Life Reporter & Sports Information Director
812-888-4164 office, 314-599-1519 cell, VUNews@vinu.edu, email@example.com
VINCENNES UNIVERSITY, Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu/newsroom