MOUNT CARMEL - No. 4 Vincennes used a second-half comeback to defeat Wabash Valley College Wednesday night, 86-80, in men’s college basketball action.
“I’m proud of our effort with how we bounced back from a tough loss on Saturday,” said Wabash Valley coach Mike Carpenter. “I told them after the game tonight that it was a true test for them with how they would react and we reacted playing our best game so far this season against a really quality opponent.”
The Warriors had a 10-point lead 29 seconds into the second half. But, the lead was down to one with 14:33 left in the game.
Hugues Mbumba’s layup gave the Trailblazers a 59-57 lead with 11:42 left in the game. However, the Warriors reclaimed the lead with a 3 from Tyreese Williford with 10:51 to play for a 62-61 Warriors’ lead.
“Our fans were tremendous and it was loud,” said Carpenter. “It was a really good basketball game. I think we gained a lot of fans tonight, which is what we’re aiming for.
“Vincennes is a tough team and they’re ranked No. 4 for a reason. I give our kids a lot of credit for fighting the way that they did. We just had a stretch there in the second half that really killed us with turnovers and fouling the jump shooter. If we can eliminate our mistakes we’re going to win a lot of games.”
Vincennes continued to stretch its lead out after 3-pointer from CJ Hedgepeth made it 74-70. Later, Hedgepeth hit a layup to give the Trailblazers a 77-70 advantage with four minutes remaining.
“There was a stretch for about four minutes where we turned the ball over five times,” said Carpenter. “We took a couple quick shots that we didn’t need to. We also fouled a kid taking a jump shot is the worse play in basketball.
“It went from a five-point lead to where we were down two or three. We called two timeouts during that stretch. It’s not like we’re not doing our job. As coaches, our job is to put them in a position to be successful and they have to follow through and do a better job down the stretch.”
Three players score in double figures for the Warriors. Leading the way was Williford’s 20 points. Marcus Garrett added 14 while Trice pitched in 13.
For Vincennes, they were led by Ty Gadsden and Tisdale, who each scored 17 points, respectively.
The Warriors have now lost two straight as they head to Olney Tuesday to open Great Rivers Athletic Conference action.
“Every game from here on out, we run the risk of losing or we could win every game from here on out,” noted Carpenter. “We just need to regroup and build on some things and do a better job of taking care of the ball.
“Going to Olney Tuesday night is always tough. To open the conference with them I’m sure they’ll be ready for us on Tuesday.”