Jackson’s double-double not enough as No. 15 Trailblazers fall in National Quarterfinals


HUTCHINSON, Kan. – The No. 15 seed Vincennes University Trailblazers had their season come to an end Thursday afternoon at the hands of No. 7 Northwest Florida State by the final score of 68-55.

VU sophomore Shilo Jackson (Indianapolis, Ind.) closed out his Trailblazer career in fitting fashion, ending with an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double, his sixth of the season and 21st in a Vincennes uniform.

Vincennes got off to a slow start out of the gates Thursday and the defending National Champion Raiders pounced on the opportunity.

Northwest Florida State quickly built a double-digit lead in the first half at 21-10.

VU would slowly chip away at this lead, eventually using a 6-0 scoring run to close out the first half of play to cut the deficit down to 37-32 heading into the locker room break.

NW Florida quickly built their lead back up to double-figures to start the second half, before VU closed the margin back down to seven.

The Raiders answered back to take a 16-point lead midway through the second period and this time the Blazers were unable to get back within 10 points as NW Florida State came away with the 68-55 victory to advance to the Final Four.

The Trailblazers were led offensively by sophomore Caleb Johnson (N. Preston, Nova Scotia) and freshman Kris King (Washington, D.C.).

The pair of Blazers each finished the game with 12 points, with King getting going early to score nine points in the first half, while also ending with four rebounds and dishing out a team-high three assists. Johnson would grab two rebounds and lead the Blazers defense with three steals on the game.

Shilo Jackson closed out his VU career with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while also protecting the rim with a team-high three blocks.

Sophomore Tasos Cook (Columbus, Ohio) finished out his day with nine points, two assists, two steals and two rebounds, while freshman Michael Osei-Bonsu (Bolingbrook, Ill.) led the Blazers with 12 rebounds for the game.

The No. 15 Trailblazers close out the 2022-23 season with a final record of 30-6, VU’s 19th 30-win season in program history.

The Trailblazers earned VU’s 37th NJCAA National Tournament appearance, an NJCAA record and ended their run with 67 NJCAA National Tournament victories in program history, setting a new NJCAA record.

Thursday’s result means the end for VU’s five departing sophomores; Tasos Cook, Caleb Johnson, Shilo Jackson, Trenton Johnson (South Bend, Ind.) and Devawn White (Montreal, Quebec).


VINCENNES (55): Tasos Cook 3-8 2-2 9, Trenton Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Caleb Johnson 4-14 4-7 12, Michael Osei-Bonsu 2-7 0-0 4, Shilo Jackson 3-7 5-6 11, James Locke IV 0-1 0-0 0, Devawn White 1-1 0-0 2, Kris King 4-15 3-4 12, Ryan Oliver 2-7 1-5 5, Kent King 0-1 0-0 0, Victor Lado 0-0 0-0 0, Karyiek Dixon 0-0 0-0 0, Team 19-62 15-24 55.

VU (30-6, 16-5) – 32   23 – 55

NW Florida State – 37   31 – 68

Three-point goals: VU 2 (Cook, Kr. King). Rebounds: VU 39 (Osei-Bonsu 12). Assists: VU 10 (Kr. King 3). Steals: VU 8 (C. Johnson 3). Blocked Shots: VU 3 (Jackson 3). Turnovers: VU 8. Personal Fouls: VU 14. Fouled out: None. Technical Fouls: VU Coach (1-17:25).


The No. 15 VU Trailblazers end the season at 30-6 with a 16-5 record against Region 24 opponents.