Hansen's 31-point effort leads VU past JAL, 99-85 - Athletics

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Hansen's 31-point effort leads VU past JAL, 99-85

CARTERVILLE, Ill. - Freshman Nate Hansen hit five of his six 3-pointers and freshman Jeremiah Bell canned two of his four treys in the second half Wednesday night to lead the Vincennes University Men's Basketball Team to a 99-85 upset win at 10th-ranked John A. Logan.
 
When it was all over, Hansen had scored a career-high 31 and Bell had 26 to lead the Trailblazers (21-5). Freshman Chris Darrington also scored 10 of his 19 in the second 20 minutes as the trio led VU's 62-point second half offensive explosion. Vols freshman Jalen Perry had 23 and sophomore Devontavius Payne scored 18 for John A. Logan (21-4).
 
Along with being the Trailblazers' 21st victory of the season, the triumph was VU Coach Todd Franklin's 496th career win and his 172nd since taking over at VU in 2010-11.
 
The marksmanship of Hansen and Bell in the second half led VU's blistering shooting performance. The Trailblazers were 18-for-28 (64.3 percent) overall from the floor after halftime. That effort combined with VU's first half shooting (15-for-31; 48.4 percent) to shake out to 55.9 percent for the game. The Trailblazers finished 14-for-24 from 3-point range (58.3 percent). Hansen was 6-for-9 (5-for-7 in the second half) and Bell hit 4-of-7 (2-of-3 in the second half) from long range. The pair also combined for 11-for-11 shooting at the free throw stripe as VU maintained its lead in the second half. Overall, the Trailblazers shot an outstanding 19-for-20 at the line while John A. Logan missed 11 second half free throws.
 
After going to the locker room at halftime in a tie game at 37-all, the Trailblazers opened the second half on an 8-0 run. By the midway point in the second half, it was 76-66 VU thanks in part to Hansen's first three treys of the half and a pair of second half 3-pointers by Bell. Sophomore Justin King and freshmen Theo Holloway and Jordan Manse had also knocked down 3-pointers at that point in the half. Yet another Hansen 3-pointer made it 81-68 VU with about eight minutes to play.
 
John A. Logan sliced the VU lead to single digits with more than six minutes to go when Perry buried a trey as a foul was called on VU in the post. Vols sophomore Tamas Bruce hit one of the two free throws to pull John A. Logan within eight at 83-75. A Trailblazer turnover on the ensuing possession gave the ball back to the Vols and Bruce scored to make it 83-77 VU. But Hansen hit two free throws and Holloway and John A. Logan's Armon Benford traded a free throw each to set the scoreboard at 86-78 Trailblazers. From there, VU outpaced John A. Logan, 13-7, for the final margin of victory.
 
VU will be on the road Saturday at Lincoln Trail, the first of three more road games. Following that trip to Robinson, IL, the Trailblazers head to Southwestern Illinois in Belleville, IL, on Saturday, Feb. 20, and travel to Lake Land in Mattoon, IL, on Tuesday, Feb. 23. VU will then return home to the VU P.E. Complex on Friday, Feb. 26, for the regular season finale against Shawnee. The game will follow the VU women vs. Shawnee and it will be Sophomore Night for both Trailblazer squads.
 
In addition to the final regular season game being Sophomore Night, the contest is also the Trailblazers' chance to notch the VU men's program's 600th win on the VU P.E. Complex floor. VU is 599-69 on the P.E. Complex playing surface since the facility became of the team's home in 1974.
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