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Cold perimeter shooting costs VU as host Kaskaskia wins, 62-54
 February 2, 2013

CENTRALIA, Ill. – The Vincennes Trailblazers’ poor shooting from the perimeter and free throw line this season finally tripped up the NJCAA No. 2-ranked squad Saturday night when the host Kaskaskia Blue Devils packed into a tight zone defense throughout the evening and posted a 62-54 win over previously unbeaten VU.

Sophomore Darius Carter had a game-high 20 points and sophomore Deshawn Delaney had 13 for VU (21-1). Sophomore R.J. Kwiatkowski scored 18 off the bench to pace Kaskaskia. Freshman Jermaine Ruttley had 15 and freshman Daquan Boyd finished with 13 for the Blue Devils.

Almost all the points came from close range for the Trailblazers, who were never able to solve the Blue Devil zone by hitting some jumpers. VU shot only 2-for-20 from 3-point range (both by freshman Devin Foster) and only 22-for-62 overall for the game. The Trailblazers also went only 8-for-13 at the free throw line. VU Coach Todd Franklin cited some defensive slip-ups as being costly to his team as well.

Kaskaskia also only had a pair of treys, but the Blue Devils hit 22-of-26 free throws for the offensive difference.

The Blue Devils got out to a 5-0 lead to start the game and VU trailed until the 2:55 mark in the first half when sophomore Lamine Dieng gave the Trailblazers their first lead at 21-20 with a jumper. But the VU advantage was short-lived and Kaskaskia held a 49-42 lead with 7:00 to play in the game when Kwiatkowski hit 3-pointer.

VU had chances to pull out a win but failed to capitalize. One of Foster’s treys late in the game was followed by a Kaskaskia miss and the Trailblazers had the ball with a chance to cut the Blue Devil lead to as little as one point. But sophomore Monte Burney’s 3-point shot was off the mark and Kaskaskia’s Devon Rowan hauled down the board, leading to Ruttley scoring inside at the other end for a 51-45 Kaskaskia advantage.

A short time later, Ruttley scored again while being fouled and hit the free throw to extend the lead to 54-45.

Delaney scored a couple of late buckets to get VU within five at 56-51 and Carter’s three-point play with 44.5 seconds left sliced the Blue Devil lead to 56-54.

But Boyd hit four straight free throws in the closing seconds help close the door on VU.

The Trailblazers will host Lake Land at 7 p.m. Wednesday and then head to Olney Central for a men’s/women’s doubleheader with the Blue Knights. The women’s game at Olney, IL, will begin at 6:30 p.m. (Vincennes time) and be followed by the VU men taking on Olney Central at 8:30 p.m.

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