Christian Wells and the defense stood out as the No. 1-ranked Vincennes University men's basketball team stymied Columbia State (Tenn.), 66-47, in the 30th annual Sodexo Classic on Saturday.

Wells, making his first start, scored a career-high 15 points for the Trailblazers (5-0), who completed five games in eight days with their fourth double-figure victory.

It was a balanced attack for VU, with Colton Sandage scoring 13, and reserve Kevin Osawe and Kevin Kone adding 12 and 10 points. Osawe, a starter who was benched early in Friday's win over Kankakee (Ill.), also grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double in 30 minutes of play.

“(Columbia State) played extremely physical, tough, and hard, and we had to grind it out. I’m proud of our guys. We fought and battled," Blazers coach Todd Franklin said. “We’ve played five good teams in this homestand. We didn’t play a bunch of prep schools or junior varsity teams, or anything else. We’ve played five quality teams. We’ve been tested.”

The Blazers trailed on two occasions, but took the lead for good at 12-10 on Chuck Mekkam's basket with 12:15 to go in the first half. They extended the lead to 36-26 by halftime with the help of Wells' 10 first-half points.

The Chargers, which pushed No. 4 John A. Logan in Friday's 81-75 loss, never got closer than six in the second half, as VU held the visitors to 27 percent shooting (17-62). Pressing throughout, Columbia State forced the Blazers into 18 turnovers, but VU had a much-better shooting game at 46 percent (24-52).

The Blazers play their only road non-region game at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Highland (Ill.).

VINCENNES 66, COLUMBIA STATE 47

MEN-SATURDAY

COLUMBIA STATE

Howard 2-2 0-0 5, Holmes 0-5 2-2 2, Nix 2-5 0-0 4, Bolden 0-8 0-0 0, Lockett 4-10 3-4 11, Brown 3-12 0-0 7, Williams 2-8 2-2 6, Hodge-Harper 0-2 0-0 0, Abernathy 1-3 2-4 4, Sparkman 1-1 1-2 3, Rozier 0-1 0-0 0, Lee 0-0 0-0 0, Bostic 2-5 0-0 5. Totals: 17-62 10-14 47.

VINCENNES

Wells (f) 4-7 7-9 15, Okanu (c) 3-5 0-1 6, Tucker (g) 0-3 0-2 0, Porter 1-5 4-4 6, Sandage (g) 4-7 2-2 13, Mekkam 1-3 0-0 2, Rogers 0-0 0-0 0, Ukomadu 0-0 2-4 2, Osawe 6-14 0-0 12, Kone 5-8 0-2 10. Totals: 24-52 15-24 66.

SCORE BY HALVES

Columbia State |26-21 — 47

Vincennes |36-30 — 66

3-pointers: Columbia State 3-14 (Howard 1-1, Brown 1-4, Bostic 1-4, Lockett 0-1, Hodge-Harper 0-1, Abernathy 0-1, Holmes 0-2), VU 3-15 (Sandage 3-5, Wells 0-1, Mekkam 0-1, Tucker 0-2, Porter 0-3, Osawe 0-3). Rebounds: Columbia State 31 (Williams 7), VU 40 (Osawe 10). Turnovers: Columbia State 17, VU 18. Fouls: Columbia State 23, VU 18.

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