Vincennes, IN – The #5 ranked Trailblazers remain unbeaten at home (16 – 0) in a traditional District 16 throw down with the Volunteers of John A. Logan College.
The first-half of this contest lived up to the hype as a showdown of two of the top teams in District 16 collided inside the Physical Education Complex. The lead either changed hands, or the score was tied a total of 13 times in the 20-minute first-half, and 27 fouls were called. Early on this game looked like it was headed toward being a classic like we are used to seeing when these two teams meet. John A. Logan held the lead at the end of the first half 46 -43, but Vincennes had made them struggle to earn even that lead. Sophomore Isaiah Tisdale was the focal point of the Trailblazer offense early on, with 14 first-half points, Tisdale also led the Trailblazers at the break with 4 rebounds. Freshman Keith Clemons and sophomore Rade Kukobat came off the bench to contribute early, with 9 points for Clemons and 7 for Kukobat.
In the beginning of the second-half it appeared like this game was going to be decided at the final buzzer, with the scoring being tied 3 additional times, before Vincennes took the lead. Once VU got control of the scoreboard the Trailblazers started to methodically build their own lead. With just a 4-point lead with 10 minutes to go, Vincennes turned up the pressure defensively, which cause the Volunteers to commit 16 turnovers in the game, 8 resulting in steals. The other place Vincennes took over was on the offensive glass. Of the 38 total rebounds the Trailblazers grabbed, 19 of them were on the offensive side of the floor, this gave the VU shooters multiple opportunities as the game wore on. The second-half scorers were Isaiah Tisdale with 13 second-half points, and Rade Kukobat who put in quality minutes down the stretch and added 8 more points to his total. Freshmen George Dixon and Lony Francis, Jr were the main reason Vincennes out rebounded John A. Logan by such a large margin, with Dixon grabbing 5 rebounds and Francis, Jr.’s 4 second-half rebounds.
Tisdale had the game-high with 27 points, while also grabbing 6 rebounds and dishing out 4 assists on the night. Rade Kukobat finished off his night with an exclamation point dunk late which capped off his 15 points and 5 rebounds performance. Keith Clemons finished with 13 points and 5 rebounds, and fellow freshman Ty Gadsden collect 12 points after shooting 9 for 11 from the free throw line. George Dixon was the games leading rebounder with 7 boards. Lony Francis, Jr. and sophomore C.J. Hedgepeth each pulled in 6 rebounds as well.
The Trailblazers will remain at home this weekend when they host Southeastern Illinois College on Saturday, February 17th. This game is the second game of a men’s and women’s double-header. The VU Lady Trailblazers will start the action at 5 p.m. eastern with the men’s game to follow at approx. 7 p.m.