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No. 9 Vincennes University men’s basketball advance through to final of Central District Tournament

INA, Ill. -  The No. 9 Vincennes University men’s basketball team fought through a tough game against Southwestern Illinois on Wednesday night to win 79-63 and advance to the NJCAA Division I Central District Tournament championship. This brings VU to 28-4 and nets Coach Todd Franklin his 300th win as head coach of Vincennes University.

Wednesday night’s game got off to an entertaining start with four changes in score lead in the first five minutes. The first foul of the night wasn’t called until late in the sixth minute of play. From this point forward, the Blazers held the lead with SWIC’s last being 12-11. Teams entered the locker rooms at halftime with VU confidently leading 42-23.

The second half started off with a different style about it, with three fouls being called in the first 47 seconds. SWIC looked to implement an all-out full court press trapping play style, and with three VU starters already amassing 3 fouls each, it seemed an optimal time to do it. The Blazers were outscored 15-3 in the beginning of the first half and things didn’t turn until an intentional call was called on Southwestern Illinois. From the intentional foul, sophomore Craig Porter nailed both of his free throws, and sophomore Kevin Osawe took the inbound to drain a three for the 5-point play. VU maintained its discipline through the second half, not allowing any Blazer to foul out, despite getting close.

VU Statistical Leaders

Porter (Terre Haute, Ind.) scored 12 points, with 3 field goals, and went 5-8 from the line. Osawe (Brampton, Ontario, Canada) led scoring on the night with 29 points, sinking 2 treys, 11 field goals, and went 5-6 from the free throw line. Freshman Christian Wells (Muncie, Ind.) put up 13 points, with 5 field goals, one from behind the arc, and 2 free throws.

VU Coach Todd Franklin says. . .

“I thought we played well the first half, I feel like we had the chance to knock them out right there but obviously we didn’t. SWIC did what they needed to do in the second half, and we showed some character when they started to push. You have to respond against a defense like that, you really need to be tough minded.”

“I expect both of us to show up Friday night. John A. Logan are an incredibly talented team, twice we’ve been able to deal with them this year, and we’re going to need our guys to do it a third time. Our fans are going to have to show up for us as well, it’s less than two hours, and we need the support.”

Notes

  • Wednesday was the fifth time VU have faced SWIC in the district tournament, and have won all five games
  • If the Blazers win on Friday night, they will automatically punch their ticket to the NJCAA National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas

Next up

The Trailblazers head to the final on Friday, March 6 against No.8 John A. Logan. The game will tip off at 8 p.m. EST and will be hosted at Rend Lake College in Ina, Ill.

Follow Trailblazer athletics on Twitter @VinUniAthletics and Facebook

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Vincennes University Newsroom
Vincennes University Trailblazer Athletics

JAKE JACKSON, Assistant Sports Information Director

   812-888-6831 office, VUAthletics@vinu.edu, jjackson@vinu.edu

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 Sports Information, www.govutrailblazers.com

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