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VU fends off Lincoln Trail, 85-74 for 24th win of season
 February 14, 2013

The NJCAA No. 6 Vincennes Trailblazers got out to a big first half lead on visiting Lincoln Trail, saw the lead evaporate in the second half and then hung on for an 85-74 win Wednesday at the VU P.E. Complex.

The Trailblazers got 21 points from sophomore Monte Burney, 14 from sophomore Tyran de Lattibeaudiere, 13 from sophomore Deshawn Delaney and 11 from freshman Devin Foster.

Lincoln Trail’s Dennis Hightower had a game-high 29 to lead the Statesmen (12-12).

In the beginning, it appeared that VU might have an easy time in securing its 24th win of the season (with one loss) as the game passed the 10:00 mark in the first half and the Trailblazers had gotten out to a 22-7 advantage behind Burney’s six points. VU then weathered Hightower’s 12 first half points and led 43-32 at halftime.

But, by the time the Trailblazers called timeout with just less than 12:00 to go, Lincoln Trail had cut the lead all the way to three at 51-48. The Statesmen eventually sliced the VU lead to just one point, but VU turned it back on some and opened it back up to an eight-point lead at 61-53 with 9:22 remaining.

de Lattibeaudiere had a big bucket and the lead lingered in that seven- or eight-point range until Hightower scored in transition to make it 72-67 VU with 4:02 to play. That’s when Burney began to assert himself at crunch time.

Burney buried a trey to answer Hightower’s bucket and put the Trailblazers ahead 75-67. A short time later, he penetrated and scored again to extend the lead to 10. Burney continued to own things with a put-back of his own miss to provide a cushion that was vital when Hightower converted a conventional three-point play and keep Lincoln Trail within 10 at 79-70.

VU’s Loomis Gerring then knocked down two clutch free throws and Burney added a pair later on to help close it out.

VU heads to Wabash Valley Saturday for the second game of a men’s/women’s doubleheader. The women tip off at 6:30 p.m. (Vincennes time) and the men start at about 8:30 p.m.

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