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VU gets back in win column with 86-49 lashing of District 16 foe Lake Land

The Vincennes University Men's Basketball Team dominated the backboards and hit more free throws than visiting foe Lake Land attempted Saturday as the Trailblazers trounced the visitors, 86-49.

The win was a bounce-back from a setback to Southwestern Illinois earlier in the week that snapped NJCAA No. 17 VU's 12-game winning streak and was the first step in the Trailblazers possibly launching another run of victories.

On Saturday, freshman guard Chris Darrington scored 16 of his game-high 20 points in the second half and freshman Nate Hansen finished with 16 to pace VU (15-4, 8-1 in District 16 play). Sophomore Makur Puou scored 10 points and sophomore Justin King had nine points and 10 rebounds. Puou and sophomore Darren Groves both pulled down nine rebounds each as the Trailblazers outrebounded the Lakers by a 50-32 margin. Forward Estiven Larrahondo led Lake Land (5-12) with a double-double of 12 points and 12 boards.

In the sizeable overall rebounding advantage, VU yanked down 18 offensive boards (Lake Land had 10 offensive rebounds) to increase its scoring opportunities and the Trailblazers were 16-of-26 at the free throw line, compared to Lake Land's 15-for-21 shooting at the stripe. VU also held its turnover total to 11 while the Lakers committed 21 miscues. In addition, VU hit six 3-pointers but Lake Land hit only two from beyond the arc.

The game's outcome was a foregone conclusion early in the second half. After VU went to the locker room at halftime with a 36-23 advantage, the Trailblazers returned for the second half to get off to a slow start - not scoring until King connected at the 18:21 mark after VU had missed its first four shot attempts of the half. Fortunately, Lake Land had only scored one point during that same time. Near the 15:20 mark, a conventional three-point play by freshman guard Jeremiah Bell made it 45-28. After a Lakers miss, Darrington knocked down a trey to make it 48-28 for the first 20-point lead of the game. A short time later, Hansen hit a 3-pointer to make it 51-29 and the Trailblazers never looked back.

As the clock reached the midway point in the final half, the Trailblazers enjoyed a 62-36 lead on a Puou jumper and outscored Lake Land 24-19 the rest of the way to cruise to the victory.

Up next, VU will travel to Shawnee in Ullin, IL, on Wednesday. The Trailblazers will take the floor after the Trailblazer women's basketball squad plays Shawnee. VU will then return home to host Olney Central on Saturday, Jan. 23, in another men's-women's doubleheader.

VU Men's Basketball vs. Lake Land Box Score (PDF)

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Play4Kay

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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NJCAA spring sport cancellation

The NJCAA announced on March 16 the cancellation of all spring sport competition and all upcoming basketball championships, effective immediately, due to the evolving COVID-19 situation. Spring competition includes all practices, regular season, postseason, and national championship play.

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