Late Heroics Propel #5 Trailblazers past Lake Land in the Quarter-finals of the District Tournament - Athletics

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Late Heroics Propel #5 Trailblazers past Lake Land in the Quarter-finals of the District Tournament

Ina, IL – The Lake Land Lakers gave the #5 Vincennes University Trailblazers all they could handle for 40 minutes in the quarter-final round of the District 16 tournament hosted at Rend Lake, but when the final horn sounded, VU pulled-out an 82-81 victory thanks to a trifecta of 20 point games.

VU got things churning in the right direction from the opening tip. Sophomore Chris Darrington drove to the cup, did an acrobatic move around the basket, heaved the ball to fellow sophomore Nate Hansen, who buried a triple, scoring the game’s opening points. The Next trip down Darrington followed suit, burying another 3 as well, to give Vincennes a 6-0 lead. Lake Land would score the next trip down, but Chris Darrington would answer with a hard drive to the rim, and finish. That basket at 15:17 in the 1st-half would make Chris Darrington the 37th player at Vincennes University to score 1,000 points.

The Trailblazers would lead by as many as 11 in the first-half, before Lake Land would put-together a run of their own. The Lakers would string together several buckets during the middle-portion of the 1st half, and would tie the score at 30 with 5:16 to go until half-time. However, just as he had done all half, Nate Hansen would answer the bell for the Trailblazers. Hansen would burry a big three to break the tie with Lake Land, and then 2 big buckets by Freshman Isaiah Tisdale would give VU a 44-to-37 lead going into the locker room at half-time. Nate Hansen tallied up a game-high 16 points on 4-5 shooting from 3-point range, and also pulled down 6 rebounds. Darrington & Hansen chipped in 8 a-piece for the Trailblazers.

The momentum swung back in Lake Land’s favor at the start of the 2nd half. The Lakers rattled off a 4-0 run to start the 2nd before VU got their legs underneath them. Darrington and Tisdale exploded for a 3-minute period, taking turns knocking-down shots, and VU extended their lead to 11-points, 57-46 with 15 minutes to play. However, just as they had in the first-half, the Lakers would come storming back. Lakeland would go on a 24-10 run over the next 10 minutes to capture their first lead of the contest, 70-67 with 5:57 to play. Lake Land would extend their lead to as many as 5, but the Trailblazers would respond. Darrington drove down the floor, flipped the ball over the top to Hansen in the corner, and he buried a 3, pulling the Blazers within 2, 79-77. VU forced a turnover at the other end, and again, Darrington drove rapidly down the floor, flipped the ball over the top to Hansen again, this time on the opposite side of the floor, and he would knock-down another 3 to give Vincennes the 80-79 lead with under a minute to play. Lake Land force a turn-over and a last-second heave to make things interesting, but the Trailblazers would survive with the victory, 82-81, to advance to the semi-final round of the District 16 tournament.

Nate Hansen led the late game heroics for VU against Lake Land. Hansen had 24 points, on 6-of-11 shooting from 3-point range, and pulled down 6 rebounds. Freshman Isaiah Tisdale was dynamite down the stretch for the Trailblazers. He scored 21 points, 13-of-which were in the 2nd, and also had 6 rebounds. Sophomore Chris Darrington would be the 3rd Trailblazers to score over 20, as he also netted 21 points, and racked up 5 assists. Darrington exits the Lake Land game with 1,016 points for his VU career.

The #5 VU Trailblazers will return to action in the semi-final round of the District 16 Tournament at Noon EST against the winner of Shawnee vs. Kaskaskia! Go VU!


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The Vincennes University Athletic Department hosts Play4Kay and raises donations for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund annually. VU Women’s Basketball Coach and Athletic Director Harry Meeks has a special connection to the late Yow, who was the longtime coach at North Carolina State. He had the pleasure of meeting her while he was an assistant coach at Western Carolina University. This left a lasting impression on him and made this cause important to him and the Trailblazers.

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