No. 11 Trailblazers survive defensive battle with D-II No. 16 Danville Area on homecoming


VINCENNES, Ind. – The No. 11-ranked Vincennes University Trailblazers faced another tough challenge Saturday night at the P.E. Complex in their third game of the season against a ranked NJCAA Division II opponent, this time No. 16-ranked Danville Area.

The Trailblazers bounced back after the Jaguars tied the game late in the second half before VU pulled away at the free throw line to close out the 73-65 win on homecoming night.

The No. 11-ranked Trailblazers found themselves in a back-and-forth defensive slugfest early Saturday night, with neither team able to break away.

VU was the first to put together a scoring run, using a 7-0 run to take a 24-18 lead.

Danville Area responded back with a 6-0 scoring run later in the first half to cut the VU lead to just one before VU would tack on another point to their lead before heading into the locker room up 34-32.

Vincennes against looked to separate themselves from the Jaguars in the second half but could not break away as Danville managed to tie the game at 53-all midway through the final period.

Danville Area would keep the game tied at 59-59 before Vincennes used a 6-0 run to grab the lead back.

The Jaguars battled back but were ultimately unable to take the lead back from the Blazers as VU would go on to ice the game away at the free throw line with Vincennes winning their eighth straight game to begin the season 73-65.

“We just grinded it out tonight,” VU Hall of Fame Head Coach Todd Franklin said. “We couldn’t hit shots from the outside, which was really the only way we were going to open this game up. Danville is solid, they play good defense, they have good ball handling. They are disciplined and have good quickness with those guards. They are going to isolate you and try to get after you one-on-one after their actions. They want to go deeper into the shot clock and they make you go deeper into the shot clock because they grind you down. This wasn’t going to be a game with a bunch of transition buckets. It was a grind with some opportunity breaks.”

“We had opportunities tonight because we had some open shots on the perimeter,” Franklin added. “Especially early in the game, we had all kinds of shots that could have really broken things open and we didn’t hit them. We were five for 21 for the game behind the three-point line. If you told me we were going to shoot that before the game I would have told you that this game was going to be a slog then. It’s going to be close and probably within 10 points. Now if you told me we were going to hit nine or 10 of those 21, then I’d say we could get them between 10 and 20.”