February 23, 2019 / Lady 'Blazers earn 20th win of season
VINCENNES, Ind. - The Vincennes University women’s basketball team crossed off one of its season goals on Saturday night.
The Lady ‘Blazers cruised to an 84-43 win over Southwestern Illinois, inside the P.E. Complex, to notch their 20th win of the season.
“Getting to at least 20 wins is always one of the goals every year,” VU Coach Harry Meeks said. “If you can get to 20 wins, odds are you have a pretty good team.”
The game was also sophomore night as the Trailblazers closed the home portion of their regular season to improve to 20-6 on the year.
Jaynice Stovall, who is a red-shirt freshman but was honored as a sophomore, netted a team-high 15 points in the win. Stovall also pulled down eight rebounds, dished out six assists and came away with three steals.
“Jaynice has been playing really good here of late,” Meeks said. “She had another good all-around floor game for us tonight.”
Meeks elected to sit three of his usual starters so all five sophomores on the team could get the chance to start and play together.
Sofia Besedina, Diamond Fields and Cristina De La Cruz all started for the first time this season as they joined regular starters Stovall and Ivanda Hudjakova.
“I thought it was really nice of Coach Meeks to give us this opportunity,” De La Cruz stated. “It was nice being able to play with the people you know the most after being here for two years so we usually do not get to be out there playing at the same time.
“It all was just a beautiful thing from the flowers and gifts before the game to getting to start the game with each other.”
The five sophomores combined to outscore the Blue Storm by themselves.
Besedina and Fields both tallied nine points, while Hudjakova added eight and De La Cruz tossed in five points to go along with Stovall’s total -- 46 combined points for the sophomores.
“Every year we try and make sure the sophomores are a big part of this game,” Meeks stated. “We really want to show them our appreciation for their two years here. I can’t think them all enough.”
SWIC, who only played six players the entire game, closed to within 9-8 with 3 minutes, 30 seconds left in the first quarter. But the Lady ‘Blazers closed the frame on a 13-2 run and never looked back.
VU led 42-21 at the half and 69-28 heading into the fourth.
“I thought our defense did a nice job of taking them out of a lot of stuff they like to do offensively,” the veteran VU coach stated. “We made a few mistakes on some of their cuts, but overall I was pleased with the way we played.
“We ran our offense, run the floor and forced some turnovers. Another great effort for all the girls.”
Fess Hawkins, who did not play the entire first quarter, ended up with a double-double. The freshman scored 14 points to go along with her game-high 13 rebounds.
“Another outstanding game for Fess both rebounding and scoring,” Meeks said. “She has aggressive on both ends of the floor which is how we need her to play to be successful.”
Hudjakova added eight rebounds as the Trailblazers dominated the glass, 49-23.
VU wraps up its final two games of the regular season on the road this week before returning to the P.E. Complex on Tuesday, March 5 for the first round of the postseason District P tournament.
The top two seeds in the regular season host first-round games, before the rest of the tournament is played at Rend Lake.
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