HUTCHINSON, KS (WFIE) – The Vincennes University guys basketball group flexed a few muscles and reminded everyone of its repute as a countrywide powerhouse on Saturday. The Trailblazers handled Ranger 87-77 to win the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. The Blazers received their fourth national championship and primary for the reason that 1972. In their first countrywide title sport appearance because of 1986, VU jumped out to a 23-5 start, and the Trailblazers confirmed off their faculty hues of blue and gold on national tv. In the process, VU Men’s Basketball Coach Todd Franklin cemented his location within the records of one of the state’s pinnacle applications.“ Since ‘seventy-two, there had been a lot of exquisite players who have played at Vincennes,” Franklin said. “We recognize all those people are rather proud and happy and no longer should pay attention to about we can’t get it performed.”
After the Trailblazers have been offered the championship trophy and cut down the nets, Franklin obtained the Coach of the Tournament award, and freshman Kevin Osawe turned into offered the William B. French Most Valuable Player Award. Osawe scored 22 factors and grabbed ten rebounds within the championship game. Sophomores Keith Clemons and Kevin Kangu had been amongst 12 players presented with All-Tournament medals. Clemons accumulated 17 elements and seven assists against Ranger. Kangu added 14 features and six assists. Sophomore Lony Francis Jr. Scored 10 points before fouling out with 6 minutes 47 seconds left. The Trailblazers began out on the hearth in a game that turned into the broadcast on CBS Sports Network. They were in advance 34-thirteen halfway via the first 1/2.
They led by way of as many as 22 points before taking a 50-34 lead into the locker room at halftime.“ We got her out, performed nicely, and hit photographs,” said Franklin, who has coached the Trailblazers for nine seasons.Ranger made it a sport inside the 2nd half. The Rangers’ Keyshaad Dixon hit a 3-pointer that reduce VU’s result in sixty three-60 with 7 1/2 mins remaining.“ The handiest time they have been in the sport changed into the ultimate six or seven minutes,” Franklin stated. “We didn’t have our interior recreation due to the fact our inner recreation became at the sideline sitting via me from the center 20 minutes of the game. Great effort through Ranger; however, if we had had our inside game on the court, I don’t suppose they would have were given returned on top people. We had to fight it off.”
At the 6:19 mark, the Trailblazers were in advance 65-sixty four. However, Franklin wasn’t concerned. He diagnosed his crew becomes poised to shut out the victory and win the national championship.“ You ought to see that the script flipped,” Franklin stated. “It was we’re not preventing off any greater. We are in closure mode. I felt pretty correct about it once you can see it on the ground that we have been in closure mode. We did it this complete event—Moberly has driven upon us. Early within the second half, South Plains drove upon us. Odessa drove upon us inside the second half.“ You noticed Craig Porter click in, take it to the basket, and drop it off because we needed somebody to do that. Then I had George (Dixon) in there inquiring for the ball.
Osawe wanted the ball. At that second, I idea we’re going to be all proper.” Clemons buried a three-pointer to position VU in advance 77-72 with three:55 to play. In that remaining 3:fifty five, the Trailblazers closed the game on a thirteen-five run. Then the celebration began. The players put on shirts with “National Champions” published on them. They cut down the nets, posed for snapshots, signed autographs, and kissed the championship trophy.“ Playing with this team has been the first-class years of my lifestyle,” Dixon said. “To be capable of the win this it manner the whole thing. Not to best me, but to the people lower back at home, to instruct (Franklin) and the preceding players that played right here. We are all a massive circle of relatives.” The Trailblazers at the moment are 4-time countrywide champions.
They received countrywide titles in 1965, 1970, 1972, and 2019. VU holds the report for maximum national championship appearance with 34. They also maintain the document for maximum consecutive match appearances within the present-day era. This season becomes their 7th immediately ride to the national match. The Trailblazers end the season with a 34-2 average file.