January 26, 2019 / Trailblazers win battle of Top 5 teams
VINCENNES, Ind. -- Key runs and clutch free-throw shooting led the No. 4 ranked Vincennes University Men’s Basketball team past No. 3 ranked John A. Logan Saturday night inside the P.E. Complex.
The Trailblazers scored on six straight possessions midway through the second half and knocked down 11 of 13 free throws in the final 3 minutes, 25 seconds for an 86-76 win over the Vols.
With the win, the Trailblazers improve to 18-1 on the season and take over the top spot in the District 16 standings.
Logan falls to 18-2 on the year with both losses coming against VU.
“This is a good win for us,” Trailblazers coach Todd Franklin said. “They are a great team who has only lost to us. It takes a great team to beat them so we are feeling pretty good about ourselves because we have been able to do it twice now. And for us to get where we want to go, we are probably going to have to do it again.”
Kevin Osawe scored eight points in the first four minutes of the game to give the Trailblazers an early 14-5 lead.
Logan battled back to tie the game at 17 apiece, before the ‘Blazers went on another run for a 39-32 lead at halftime.
A baseline jumper from Keith Clemons gave VU a 50-38 lead with 15:45 remaining in the game, before nine straight empty possessions allowed the Vols to go on a 10-0 run.
“We have had a hard time maintaining our focus,” Franklin admitted. “During that stretch we kind of stopped ourselves as we fumbled a couple passes and missed a couple layups.”
A drive by Colton Sandage, with 12:03 left to play, started a string of six straight scoring possessions to build the lead back to 62-54 with 9:21 to play.
Jayden Scrubb banked home a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 7:22 to play, pulling the Vols to within 64-61, but they could pull no closer.
Logan missed 6 of 11 free throws in the final 4:26, while Clemons made six straight to put the game away for the hosts.
VU finished 17-for-23 from the line, while the Vols missed 12 of 30 in the game.
“We have been in tough situations before this season where we have had to rely on our free throws,” Franklin said. “And usually we have had guys who have been able to step up and hit them.”
The Trailblazers also received balanced scoring in the game. Six players scored between 10 and 15 points, led by Clemons’ 15.
“That is who we hope to be,” Franklin said of the balance scoring. “Not that we don’t have someone who can score 30 on a night, but we want to be a team that when teams try and take something or someone away we have others who step up and that is what you saw tonight.”
Osawe, Lony Francis, Jr. and George Dixon all added 14 points, while Chuka Mekkam came off the bench for 10 points.
Dixon also pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.
The Trailblazers have a short turnaround and a long week ahead of them on the road. VU travels to Lewis and Clark on Monday before two more road games on Wednesday and Saturday.
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