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#3 Vincennes University Advances to District 16 Championship Game with Win over Shawnee

Ina, IL – The 3-point shooting from the #3-ranked Vincennes University Trailblazers proved to be too much for the Shawnee Saints, as VU wins 78 – 52.

Vincennes got off to a hot start, jumping out to a 7 – 0 lead, forcing Shawnee head coach John Sparks to call a timeout inside of the first 2 minutes of play. Shawnee tried to even the score but scoring attempts for them were immediately answered by the Vincennes shooters. Shawnee sophomore Sayveon McEwen hit a 3, which was followed when freshman Keith Clemons connected on a 3 of his own. This gave Vincennes a 19 – 8 lead midway through the first half. The Saints did go on a bit of a scoring run, cutting the Vincennes lead to 5, but the Trailblazers responded with back-to-back 3’s from Keith Clemons and fellow freshman Ty Gadsden. Vincennes held on to that lead through the end of the first half, going into the locker room with a 37 – 24 advantage.

The Trailblazers were looking for a spark early in the second-half, something that would bring the energy levels up and propel them through the remainder of the game. Unfortunately, that spark came as a questionable technical foul called on head coach Todd Franklin. The Trailblazers rallied around this call and extended their lead to over 20 points after a 3-pointer from the volleyball line connected for Ty Gadsden as the shot clock expired, was followed by yet another 3-pointer by the lefty freshman. Gadsden’s 41 combined points in the last two games, plus the 12 3-point field goals have helped the Trailblazers advance past tough competition by a combined 62 points margin.

Gadsden led VU in scoring again, with 20 points on 6 of 8 shooting from 3, and 3 assists. Sophomore Isaiah Tisdale and freshman Lony Francis, Jr. followed him with 12 points each. Tisdale also accounted for 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. Sophomore C.J. Hedgepeth and freshman George Dixon each had 10 points, with Hedgepeth scoring all his points in the second half of play. Dixon also reach double-double status with 11 rebounds. All 5 of the Vincennes starters scored in double-figures, making tonight only the second time that has happened this season.

Vincennes advances to the District 16 Championship Game to be played tomorrow, March 9th, with a scheduled tip-off of 9 p.m. eastern/8 p.m. central. The Trailblazers will face the winner of the other semi-final match-up between John A. Logan and Southwestern Illinois.

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