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No. 3 Trailblazers hold off Wabash Valley

VINCENNES, Ind. — The No. 3 Vincennes University men’s basketball team led Wabash Valley for the final 36 minutes Wednesday night, but it was all the defending NJCAA Division 1 national champions could do to hold on for a 72-69 victory at the P.E. Complex.

The Trailblazers (10-1 overall, 3-0 District 24) led by as many as 12 points in the first half and 11 in the second, but the victory wasn’t secure until Bobby Harvey’s desperation 3-point attempt to send the game to overtime was well off the mark as the final horn sounded.

The Trailblazers took the lead for good, 10-9, on a floater by sophomore Kevin Osawe (Brampton, Ontario Canada) at the 1:50 mark of the opening period. VU’s biggest lead of the first half was 12 points, 31-19, on Osawe’s hoop, 5:15 before halftime. The Trailblazers’ biggest lead of the second half came at the 13:25 mark on a baseline jumper by Osawe.

VU Statistical Leaders

Sophomore Craig Porter (Terre Haute, Ind.) hit half of the 14 shots he attempted on the way to leading four VU players in double figures with 21 points. Sophomore Chinedu Okanu (Gary, Ind.) added 15 points in the win while Osawe finished with 12. Sophomore Colton Sandage (Bloomington, Ill.) scored 10.

Osawe snared 14 rebounds to post a double-double, while Porter grabbed eight.

Osawe and Porter both came up with three steals to lead the Trailblazers, while Osawe blocked two shots. Porter dished out a team-high three assists, while Osawe and sophomore Chuka Mekkam (Portland, Ore.) both contributed two.

VU Coach Todd Franklin says. . .

“I thought Craig Porter did some good things tonight, and there are guys who do good things at moments. But sometimes they’re inconsistent in doing their job.”

“We found a way to get out of here with a win, but I’ve said many times, I’m not worried about the wins and losses, I’m worried about how we go about it.”

“I said before the game that I thought Wabash Valley was a good team, and I think they’ll be a 20-win basketball team when it’s all said and done. I expected them to play well tonight. They’ve got plenty of talent and athleticism.”

Notes

  • The win was the fifth in a row for the Trailblazers, while the Warriors (3-5, 1-2 District 24) had a two-game winning streak snapped.
  • The Trailblazers are now 8-0 at home and 2-1 in away games.
  • It marked the second straight game that Porter led the Trailblazers in scoring. He netted a team-high 18 points in the 69-65 win at John A. Logan on Nov. 26.
  • The Trailblazers are collecting new toys for the Salvation Army during their home games this month, with the donations distributed to youngsters in Knox County for the holidays.

Next up

The Trailblazers will host Southeastern Illinois in a Region 24 game at 7 p.m. ET on Dec. 7.

Follow Trailblazer athletics on Twitter @VUBlazerSports and Facebook

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Vincennes University Newsroom
Vincennes University Trailblazer Athletics

MARCIA MARTINEZ, Sports Information Director & University Life Reporter

   812-888-4164 office, 314-599-1519 cell, VUNews@vinu.edu, mmartinez@vinu.edu

VINCENNES UNIVERSITY, Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu/newsroom

 

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