VU Trailblazers tripped up in overtime, 82-78, at Wabash Valley College - Athletics

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VU Trailblazers tripped up in overtime, 82-78, at Wabash Valley College

MOUNT CARMEL, Ill. - The Vincennes University Men's Basketball Team clawed to a 71-71 deadlock at the end of regulation Wednesday night at Wabash Valley and then appeared to take command of the game in the first few minutes of the extra stanza that followed.

But the host Warriors wrestled control away in the overtime period and outscored the Trailblazers, 11-7, for an 82-78 win. The setback leaves VU, which was led by freshman Chris Darrington's 14 points, at 17-5. Wabash Valley, which rode Jaylen Beckham's game-high 27 points to victory, now stands at 14-7 on the season.

VU, which also got 13 points from freshman Nate Hansen and 11 from sophomore Justin King, led 39-31 at halftime. But Wabash Valley scored the first eight points of the second half and outscored the Trailblazers, 40-32, in the second 20 minutes to make VU have to scramble to force the overtime.

The momentum swing in regulation came when Wabash Valley battled to lead 65-63. The Warriors were still ahead, 67-65, with about 1:50 to play in the second half. The back-and-forth game proceeded the same way until Darrington scored with 8.2 seconds to go and tied the game at 71-all. Wabash Valley had a chance to win the game in regulation but the shot was off the mark and Hansen hauled in the rebound to prompt the overtime.

Things started well for VU in the extra five minutes. Darrington found sophomore Darren Groves for a dunk as he was fouled. Groves converted the free throw for the 3-point play and a 74-71 VU advantage. Groves then rebounded a Warriors missed shot and King was sent to the line where he hit both to make it 76-71 VU. But Beckham drained a 3-pointer and the Trailblazers turned the ball over to give Wabash Valley another chance. Bell's fifth foul sent the Warriors' DeAngelo Isby to the line for two free throws to tie it back up at 76-all. After King missed on a trey attempt, Wabash Valley scored again. Darrington answered with a pair of free throws for a 78-78 tie with 2:20 left, but the tie was short-lived.

Groves fouled out Wabash Valley's JaJuan Starks made 1-of-2 at the stripe to put the Warriors back in front, 79-78. A missed VU layup and a Trailblazer foul on Beckham as he launched a 3-pointer gave Wabash Valley a chance to add on. Beckham made one of the three free throw attempts to stake the hosts to an 80-78 lead. VU was unable to score again and the clock wound down on the Trailblazers.

VU will travel to Kaskaskia Saturday for a 4 p.m. ("Vincennes time) tip-off, following the VU women vs. Kaskaskia. The Trailblazers will then return home to host Southeastern Illinois at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 3. The Feb. 3 game - in which the VU men are preceded by the Trailblazer women vs. visiting Southeastern Illinois - will be part of VU's annual Play4Kay event to generate awareness and raise funds for breast cancer research.

From there, the Trailblazers will host Lewis & Clark at 7 p.m. on Feb. 6 at the VU P.E. Complex and then make a Feb. 10 trip to John A. Logan in Carterville, IL, followed by a shorter trip to Robinson, IL, to face Lincoln Trail on Feb. 13.

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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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