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Trailblazers hold on for 84-80 win at NJCAA NationalChampionship
 March 20, 2013

Victory moves VU into quarterfinals vs. Howard

HUTCHINSON, Kan. – The Vincennes Trailblazers earned a spot in the NJCAA Div. I Men’s Basketball National Championship Tournament’s quarterfinal round with an 84-80 win over Lee College Tuesday night in Hutchinson, KS.

Sophomore Darius Carter had 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead fifth-seeded VU (32-2), while freshman Devin Foster scored 16 and sophomores Monte Burney and Deshawn Delaney both finished with 11 points each.

Sophomore Jamal Jones scored a game-high 29 for 21 st Seed Lee, whichfinished the season at 25-11.

The win moves the Trailblazers into a 3 p.m. (Vincennes time) Thursdayquarterfinal match-up with No. 13 Seed Howard College (30-5), which upset fourth-seeded Hutchinson 92-69 earlier Tuesday.

 Lee had a fast start. VUtrailed early until Delaney gave the Trailblazers their first lead at 23-22 with a little more than 8:00 to go. Despite the Trailblazers’ 29-16 rebounding lead at halftime, Lee was in the double-bonus with 4:20 remaining in the half and held a 22-5 advantage at the line at the midway break. Overall in the first 20 minutes, the Runnin’ Rebels were 22-for-26 and the Trailblazers were 5-for-11 at the stripe.

VU was down 41-37 at halftime and mounted a comeback that turned into a double-digit lead before evaporating because of a late Lee rally. 

The Trailblazers scored first in the second half as Burney streaked down the lane for a layup. After a Runnin’ Rebel miss, Carter scored inside to tie it up and then Foster scored in transition. Lee turned it over yet again and Foster converted an old-fashioned three-point play. At that point, the Trailblazers were up 46-41 and Lee called a timeout to try to stop the VU momentum.

But after the timeout, the Trailblazers were able to sustain the wave until Burney penetrated and found Carter for a dunk and a 51-43 advantage with about 15:30 remaining.

VU had a 58-46 lead before Lee managed a couple of baskets to tighten it up some near the 11:00 mark, but Burney scored as he was fouled and hit the free throw to answer the mini-run.

Over the next 7:00, the Trailblazers suffered a 27-11 run that put Lee back in front 73-72 with just under 4:00 remaining.

From there, Smith scored in transition and Lee missed a shot to give VU the ball and a one-point lead with 3:00 to go. After the teams traded turnovers, VU sophomore Jerrod Gaston hit two free throws and the Trailblazers induced Lee into yet another miscue that led to Gaston returning to the line.

Gaston hit one of the attempts for a 77-73 VU lead but Lee sophomore Don Thomas scored at the other end to keep it close as the clock passed the 2:00 mark with the Trailblazers clinging to a 77-75 advantage.

The Lee defense pressured VU into a turnover that Jones turned into a bucket and it was knotted at 77-all when Foster drained a trey and Delaney turned in a steal that provided Carter a chance to score in transition. Carter was hacked by Burrell as he made the layup and VU was up 82-77 before Jones knocked down a 3-pointer to pull the Runnin’ Rebels back within striking distance at 82-80 with 41.7 seconds to play.



























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