ROBINSON, Ill. — The eighth-ranked Vincennes University men showed a finishing kick Wednesday and needed about every step against Lincoln Trail.

Craig Porter tossed in 25 points and the Trailblazers overcame an 11-point deficit in a 65-57 Region 24 basketball win over the Statesmen.

Kevin Osawe added 12 points for VU (21-3, 12-2 Region 24), which have knocked off the first, third and fifth place teams in the region over the last week. Wednesday's triumph was the toughest of the trio.

Lincoln Trail (16-5, 9-5) held the Blazers to seven points in the first 10 1/2 minutes of the second half, turning a 31-29 halftime deficit into a 49-38 lead. VU retaliated with a 21-3 punch over the next 7 1/2 minutes to sway the game back its way.

"This was our third game in this stretch, and coming off a big high Saturday night (an 81-67 win over No. 14 John A. Logan), you kind of expected this to be kind of a struggle," Blazers coach Todd Franklin said. "We got out of kilter offensively early and never got it back. We had to find a way, and we did.

"We need to run the table to win this (region). This might have been our toughest game on the road that was left, so this was big," he said. "When your down on the road against a quality opponent and still grind out a win, that's a character moment."

VU scored 11 straight points to tie the game at 49. Porter had five in that stretch, including a three-point play off a Colton Sandage steal. Osawe, who was the Blazers only other double figure scorer, hit a free throw to tie the game with 5:54 showing.

After Dante Combs hit a 3-pointer to give the Statesmen a 52-49 advantage, the Blazers tallied the next 10 points. Osawe's banked-in runner gave VU the lead for good at 54-52 with 4:03 showing. His 3-pointer took it to 59-52 with 1:59 remaining.

Chuka Mekkam hit all five of his free-throw attempts in the last 30 seconds to seal it.

Franklin said his team struggled to shoot against Lincoln Trail's sagged-in defense, but lauded his team's play on the other end of the court.

VU came into the game second in the country with a 60.0 defensive average. Lincoln Trail's Alex Heath, the region's second-leading scorer at 18.9 per game, was held to seven points. Lamar Lillard and Combs paced the Statesmen with 12 apiece.

"They were 16-4 coming in, haven't lost at home and averaging 90 a game in here," Franklin said. "I thought we made it tough on them to score, and we held them to 33 points under their average. We made it tough on Heath, put him in a lot of bad position and I thought that was the key to the game.

"We had to try to win a game without hitting an outside shot. We got a little anxious, a little antsy. We have to learn from that."

VU plays at Southeastern Illinois at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Lady Blazers push

Lincoln Trail away

ROBINSON, Ill. — Amani Brown tied her career-high with 24 points, and the honorable mention Vincennes University women found their defense in the second half to stop Lincoln Trail, 88-66, in a Region 24 basketball game Wednesday.

The Trailblazers (21-4, 12-1 Region 24) had four double-figure scorers in winning for the 18th time in their last 19 games. Jaynice Stovall collected 18 points to go with 12 assists and eight steals; Jhala Henry scored 14 and Fess Hawkins 13 points with 10 rebounds.

The Statesmen (13-7, 7-5) poured in 40 points in the first half to make it interesting. They led 23-22 after one quarter and trailed by six at halftime. Brown's shooting allowed VU to take the lead at intermission, hitting four 3-pointers in the second quarter and had all five of her trifectas before halftime. Stovall was just one behind Brown with 16 points.

The Blazers limited Lincoln Trail to 12 third-quarter points to extend their lead to a comfortable 68-52. Henry had 10 of her points in the pivotal quarter.

Jaylynn Brown scored 19, Kelsey Mitchell 17 and Hannah Boykin 10 to pace the Statesmen.

VU plays at Southeastern Illinois at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

VINCENNES 65, LINCOLN TRAIL 57

MEN-WEDNESDAY

VINCENNES

Osawe (f) 4 2-4 12, Okanu (c) 3 1-2 7, Tucker (g) 2 2-2 6, Mekkam (g) 0 5-5 5, Porter (g) 8 7-9 25, Sandage 0 1-2 1, Wells 2 0-0 4, Kone 2 1-2 5. Totals: 21 19-26 65.

LINCOLN TRAIL

Reed (f) 2 1-1 6, Thompson (f) 0 1-2 1, Lillard (g) 4 1-2 12, Combs (g) 5 0-2 12, Heath (g) 3 0-1 7, Kapek 1 0-0 2, Falls 3 0-0 7, Moenkaus 2 0-0 6, Price 0 0-0 0, Bond 2 0-0 4. Totals: 22 3-8 57.

SCORE BY HALVES

Vincennes |31-34 — 65

Lincoln Trail |29-28 — 57

3-pointers: VU 4 (Porter 2, Osawe 2), Lincoln Trail 10 (Lillard 3, Combs 2, Moenkaus 2, Reed, Falls, Heath). Fouls: VU 13, Lincoln Trail 25. Technical foul: Lincoln Trail coach Luke Stuckey. Lincoln Trail team.

VINCENNES 88, LINCOLN TRAIL 68

WOMEN-WEDNESDAY

VINCENNES

Chamorro (f) 2 2-4 6, Hawkins (c) 5 3-4 13, Thompson (g) 3 0-0 7, Stovall (g) 6 4-6 18, Henry (g) 5 3-8 14, Garcia 2 0-0 4, Brown 8 1-2 24, Blume 1 0-0 2, Yocum 0 0-0 0. Totals: 32 13-24 88.

LINCOLN TRAIL

Brown (f) 8 1-1 19, Boykin (f) 3 2-2 10, Combs (c) 3 0-0 6, Holmes (g) 1 0-0 2, Mitchell (g) 6 1-2 17, Mangrum 0 0-0 0, Douglas 2 4-8 8, Ingersoll 0 0-0 0, True 0 0-0 0, Hixon 2 0-0 6. Totals: 25 8-13 68.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Vincennes |22-24-22-20 — 88

Lincoln Trail |23-17-12-16 — 68

3-pointers: VU 9 (Brown 5, Stovall 2, Thompson, Henry), Lincoln Trail 10 (Mitchell 4, Brown 2, Hixon 2, Boykin 2). Fouls: VU 12, Lincoln Trail 19.

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