March 7, 2019 / Lady ‘Blazers move on to District P tournament championship game
INA, Ill. – The Vincennes University women’s basketball team advanced to its second straight NJCAA Division I District P Tournament championship game with a thrilling 66-65 victory over Southeastern Illinois on Thursday night.
A win in the next game will earn the Trailblazers a trip to the national tournament.
The District P championship game features VU and Wabash Valley, the top-ranked team in NJCAA Division I, on Friday, March 8, at 6 p.m. EST at Rend Lake College. The winner will receive an automatic berth to the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship March 18-23 in Lubbock, Texas.
To return to District P Tournament title game and improve its overall record to 23-7, VU put together an impressive fourth quarter against Southeastern Illinois.
VU held a 15-14 lead at the end of the first quarter. Southeastern Illinois led 32-31 at halftime and 49-47 at the end of three quarters.
To start the fourth quarter, the Lady ‘Blazers scored the first nine points. Their 14-5 run put them out front 61-54 after redshirt freshman Jaynice Stovall tossed in a layup with 4 minutes, 37 seconds left.
VU continued to dominate.
Freshman Jhala Henry hit a shot that gave VU a 65-56 lead with 2:54 remaining.
Southeastern Illinois didn’t go away.
With time winding down, the Lady ‘Blazers lost the ball out of bounds for a turnover and the Falcons scored on their possession. Shamari Tyson made a layup and drew a foul with 17.6 seconds to go. She sank a free throw and tied the game at 65-all. She would finish with 27 points.
With 6.3 seconds to play, it was Stovall’s turn to come up big for VU after she was fouled. She missed the first free throw and drained the second. The Lady ‘Blazers were ahead 66-65.
Southeastern Illinois got a shot off before the buzzer that did not go in.
VU and Southeastern Illinois played three close contests against each other this season. On Nov. 20, the Lady Blazers won 69-67 at the buzzer. The Falcons won 72-71 on Jan. 30.
In Thursday’s game, three VU players helped secure the win by scoring in double digits. Henry finished with 16 points. Sophomore Ivanda Hudjakova collected 16 points and nine rebounds. Stovall added 14 points, four steals and four assists.
Freshman Fess Hawkins grabbed 10 rebounds and scored eight points.
Second-seeded VU will quickly turn its attention from its win over No. 3 seed Southeastern Illinois to the championship game against top-seeded Wabash Valley.
The Lady ‘Blazers and Lady Warriors (30-0) played twice during the regular season. Wabash Valley won 89-62 on Jan. 23 and 81-70 on March 1.
In the 2018 District P championship game, VU lost 98-75 to Wabash Valley.
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MARCIA MARTINEZ, University Life Reporter & Sports Information Director
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VINCENNES UNIVERSITY, Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu/newsroom