VU Women pull away in the second half for win - Athletics

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VU Women pull away in the second half for win

By TRAVIS DAVID

VINCENNES, Ind. -- Fess Hawkins poured in a career-high 24 points to help the Vincennes University Women’s Basketball team to a win Wednesday evening inside the P.E. Complex.

The Trailblazers used a strong second-half to pull away from District P foe Olney Central, 82-59.

The Knights ended the first quarter on an 11-0 run for a 21-16 lead after the first 10 minutes of play.

VU scored the first eight points of the second quarter for a 24-21 advantage they would not relinquish.

The Trailblazers (11-4, 6-0) were playing their first game since Dec. 17 at Lincoln Trail.

“You could tell (we hadn’t played in a while) with the way we played in the first half,” VU coach Harry Meeks said of the layoff. “We just were not sharp early. Our defense was lacking, we could not get any pressure on the ball and our combinations were off. But I thought we got things corrected a litter there in the second and into the second half.”

Jhala Henry capped the first half with a 3-pointer as the Trailblazer guard beat the first-half buzzer for a 41-37 lead.

Hawkins scored six straight points -- two buckets off of offensive rebounds -- early in the third quarter as the Trailblazers extended their lead to 53-44 with 4:44 left in the period.

OCC would come no closer than seven points the rest of the game.

Hawkins finished with a game-high 14 rebounds for a double-double.

“Fess is an outstanding player who is only going to get better and better,” Meeks said of his post player. “She is strong and can score around the basket. She is a big part of our game and we have not had anyone like her in a couple years.”

The Trailblazers forced Olney into 34 turnovers for the game and came away with 21 steals.

Jaynice Stovall, who entered the game leading all NJCAA Division I players in steals, came away with five steals.

 Henry and Nickelle O’Neil also recorded five steals apiece.

“I thought we did a nice job of scoring off our defense, especially there in the second half,” Meeks said. “We were able to get a lot of hands on the ball and were able to chase some people down...speed and quickness are two things you cannot teach and we have some players who have both.”

Henry added 14 points in the win, while Stovall (12) and O’Neill (10) combined for 22 points.

O’Neil contributed from the Trailblazers bench.

“She gives us a spark everytime,” Meeks said of his 5-foot-3 freshman guard. “As the year progresses she is going to get her share of time.”

VU connected on 22 of 29 free throws in the game, as Stovall finished a perfect 9-for-9.

The Trailblazers travel to district foe Southwestern Illinois on Jan. 16.

 

Travis David can be reached at 812-888-6831 or VUathletics@vinu.edu. Follow all Trailblazer athletics on Twitter @VUBlazerSports and on Facebook.

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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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Click here to learn more about Kay Yow and the Kay Yow Cancer Fund

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At VU, we believe sports play an important role in the overall purpose of an educational institution. We support a well-rounded intercollegiate sports program for both men and women and have a strong presence in the NJCAA where we can claim several national championships. But we are equally proud of our individual All-American and All-American Academic athletes who have used their talent to continue their education at four-year colleges.

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