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Vincennes University honors basketball superstar Shawn Marion

VINCENNES, Ind. — On a night when Vincennes University basketball legend Shawn Marion was honored in front of a packed P.E. Complex, the ninth-ranked Trailblazers treated the crowd to a 70-64 thrilling win over Lake Land on Wednesday.

The atmosphere was electric as fans filled the stands to welcome the NBA champion and four-time NBA all-star home to VU. He was honored with a special halftime ceremony.

“It meant a lot,” Marion said. “This is where I started my career. This was the foundation of me going to the league after I Ieft here. It’s a touching moment.

“I follow the program closely still to this day. We were (national) champions last year, of course. Hopefully we can repeat this year. When you set off on a career, you don’t know where it’s going to lead you and I was fortunate enough to start my foundation here and build a strong base, and it prevailed me to have a long career in basketball. It’s been an amazing process. I look back through my time here and I reminisce at some of the things that I did here when I was in school, and it brings back great memories.”

Marion played for VU during the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons. He is second on the all-time VU scoring list with 1,685 points. He ranks second in career rebounds with 923. After transferring to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Marion spent 16 seasons in the NBA. He was a member of the Dallas Mavericks when they won the NBA championship in 2011, and was a member of the bronze-medal U.S. Olympic team in 2004. He is famously nicknamed "The Matrix".

VU Statistical Leaders

Sophomore Craig Porter (Terre Haute, Ind.) hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 30 seconds remaining and lifted the Trailblazers into the lead for good, 66-64.

VU then salted the game away at the foul line as sophomores Randy Tucker (Rock Island, Ill.) and Kevin Osawe (Brampton, Ontario, Canada) both hit twice.

Osawe recorded his 11th double-double of the season, as he led all players with 20 points and 15 rebounds while playing all 40 minutes.

Sophomore Chinedu Okanu (Gary, Ind.) scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Porter added 12 points and nine rebounds.

Sophomore Chuka Mekkam (Portland, Ore.) led VU with four assists, while Porter contributed a team-high three blocked shots.

VU Coach Todd Franklin says. . .

“It was a great night, with a great crowd. I’ll not speak for him but I think Shawn and (his former teammates) had a great time. I’m proud of the community for coming out and showing their love and support.”

“It’s not going to be pretty to win when you go 7 of 33 from 3-point range. But our guys gutted it out and came from down in the second half. They made the plays down the stretch they had to make to win the

game, and got the stops they had to get. We’ll learn from it.”

Notes

  • VU improved its overall record to 16-2. The Blazers are 7-1 in Region 24.
  • The Trailblazers led by as many as 14 points in the first half, while Lake Land (5-12, 1-8 Region 24) was on top by as many points in the second half. The game featured four ties and 10 lead changes
  • VU leads the all-time series with Lake Land, 34-3. It holds an 18-1 lead over the Lakers in games played at the P.E. Complex.
  • The Trailblazers are 14-0 in homes game this season, and 2-2 on the road.
  • VU made just 26 of 63 shots for 41 percent, but held a commanding 47-28 on the backboards.
  • Lake Land’s Adam Price led three Lakers in double figures with 15 points, including 13 after halftime.

Next up

The Trailblazers will travel to Godfrey, Ill., for a Region 24 game on Jan. 18 against Lewis & Clark. The contest was originally scheduled to tip off at 4 p.m. EST, but the start time has been moved to 8 p.m. EST.

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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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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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