Brevin Jefferson’s second-half scoring propels Trailblazers to Region 24 win - Athletics

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Brevin Jefferson’s second-half scoring propels Trailblazers to Region 24 win

VINCENNES, Ind. – The No. 4-ranked Vincennes University Trailblazers captured their first Region 24 win of the season with an 80-73 victory over Lake Land College Wednesday night.

The first-half was another back-and-forth slugfest, with each team building seven point leads and the lead changing three times in the first 20 minutes.

The Trailblazers were able to put together a 32-27 lead heading into the halftime break.

Sophomore DJ Brewton got the Blazers started offensively, leading VU with eight points at the break. Brewton also shined on the boards, grabbing 10 rebounds in the first half of play.

VU was also aided in the first half by the play of sophomore Deatrick Pashell. Pashell came in and played some big minutes for the Blazers in the first half and came away with seven points on a perfect two of two from the floor.

In the second half Vincennes was able to hold their lead throughout most of the remainder of play, with Lake Land only able to even the score a couple times down the stretch. VU expanded their lead to 11 points early in the second half. Lake Land was able to respond, but only could not take the lead as VU grew the lead back to the eventual seven-point margin.

The Trailblazers shot 68-percent from the field in the second half, hitting 17 of 25 shots and connecting on 12 of 15 from the free throw line.

“This is not our normal team. We didn’t have any returning players on the perimeter that’s a ball handler at all,” VU Hall of Fame head coach Todd Franklin said. “We’re compact, we’re trying to figure it out. We’re at about September level right now and we’re playing in February in District games that count.”

“All we can do is make gains,” Franklin added. “There were some things that I thought we did better, I thought we guarded the ball better for a while, then we quit doing what we were supposed to be doing in the second half and it went sideways. We’re trying different lineups to figure it out. The start of the game wasn’t very good but we’re trying figure out who wants to play and who wants the time.”

Vincennes was aided by a second-half scoring barrage from freshman guard Brevin Jefferson who scored all of his team-high 24 points in the second period, accounting for half of the VU second-half points.

“We flattened them out and tried to get Brevin some shots because we thought he was feeling it. We got him to the elbows and Brevin came through for us and if you’re going to win games, you’ve got to have people who can come through for you.”

DJ Brewton came away with a double-double with 10 points, 14 rebounds, while also dishing out four assists.

“Our point guards need to be really active on the defensive glass and usually he can because the other teams guard is already going back, whereas at Olney we were getting none. But you see the difference when you get a guy out there who makes the effort to do that. Now we’re not always going to get 14 rebounds doing that, but if we had just gotten five of those against Olney that would have been huge, we could go from four or five down to four or five up easily.”

“It’s taking those things and finding guys who respond to that and do them that make the differences in your team. We were getting some of that tonight, so eventually we need to get where there are five guys on the floor doing their jobs and if we do, then we’ll have a chance to win some games.”

Deatrick Pashell came off the bench and reached double-figures with 12 points, four rebounds and two blocks.

“Deatrick Pashell came in here a couple hours before the game and he was working,” Franklin said. “I saw him, I watched him and I went out and worked with him and worked with him on things I’ve been working with him on all year. But today he listened. That’s why I called his number tonight. I put him out there and we saw what happens. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way, but he was working through the things he was working on today, that he couldn’t do yesterday because he hadn’t listened.”

“Most of these guys have enough talent that if they will really focus and lock in on the right things, they make big gains in a hurry. But you don’t make any gains until you do that.”

Freshman Justin Archer was the fourth Blazer to reach double-figures, scoring 11 points, grabbing six rebounds and swatting away four blocks of his own.

The Trailblazers will hit the road Monday, Feb. 8, as VU travels to Robinson, Ill. to take on Lincoln Trail as part of a men’s and women’s double-header. The VU men’s team will tip-off at 8:30 p.m. eastern. Followed by a short turn around as the Trailblazers host No. 7-ranked John A. Logan at the P.E. Complex Wednesday, Feb. 10. Tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. eastern.

“I see some gains, but it’s up and down. We’ll be good for a moment, then there’s a leak and that’s what is going to happen with a team like this. This is a different kind of season for us and we’re going to try and make it as successful as possible.”

“I’ve got to be patient and not patient at the same time. I can’t just sit back and let it be what it is but I also know, this is what we’re dealing with at the moment. I’ve got to judge if they’re really focusing and really trying and it still might not be pretty. But the ones that are really trying and really focusing, that’s who we’ve got to ride with.”

“We’ll see how much better we can get by Monday, because we’ll have to be a lot better by then or we can’t win at Lincoln Trail. We’ve got the toughest week in the country coming up. Going to Lincoln Trail and having Logan here, at the stage we are now, is incredibly challenging but we’ve got to take the challenge and try to get it right and that’s what we’re going to do the rest of this week in practice.”

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