Fess Hawkins scored 10 straight points at the end of the first quarter to help the Vincennes University women’s basketball team to a 22-13 lead over District P foe Lincoln Trail Wednesday night.
Hawkins tallied a career-high 27 points to go along with 17 rebounds as the Trailblazers cruised to an 83-62 win inside the P.E. Complex.
“Fess did a great job tonight, that is a good night’s work,” Trailblazers coach Harry Meeks said. “We talk about for us to be successful she needs to be around 15 points and 15 rebounds a night and that is what she was able to give us tonight and then some.”
With the win, VU improved to 17-6 overall and 12-2 against District P opponents.
Lincoln Trail grabbed an early 11-7 before the Trailblazers finished the first frame on a 15-2 run over the final 4 minutes, 12 seconds.
A three-pointer from Cristina De La Cruz gave VU a 12-11 lead before Hawkins scored the next 10 points.
Ivanda Hudjakova banked home a 3-pointer from the win to open the scoring in the second quarter before the Trailblazers lead grew to as many as 20 points.
VU led 45-27 at the half.
“The big difference for us over the last couple weeks has been our man-to-man defense,” Meeks said of building a large lead. “We have some quickness with our guards at the top of our defense and we like to apply as much pressure as we can. We do not want the other team to be able to get comfortable in their offense and that is what we were able to do tonight.”
With the defensive pressure not backing off, the Trailblazers led 68-46 after three quarters and LTC would come no closer than 20 points the rest of the way.
“LTC is a good team and I think they will be a team to be reckoned with before the season is over, but we just came out and got after them tonight,” Meeks said. “That is the kind of pressure we will need to come out with the rest of the season.
“Our goal is to always win at least 20 games a year and we are not there yet. But I think we are continuing to get better and better each game. If we continue playing with this effort, hopefully we can get there and beyond.”
Hudjakova added 15 points and six rebounds in the win as she finished a perfect 10-for-10 from the free-throw line.
De La Cruz added 10 points off the bench to give the Trailblazers three players in double figures.
Jaynice Stovall (six) and Nickelle O’Neil (four) combined for 10 assists for the Trailblazers. The two guards who totaled 12 points -- led by Stovall’s seven -- also only had one turnover combined.
Lincoln Trail out shot the Lady ‘Blazers, 44 percent to 36 percent, from the field for the game.
The Trailblazers countered by winning the rebounding battle, 46-30.
“We did a nice job on the boards tonight,” Meeks said. “I was pleased with that and really pleased with our overall effort again tonight.”
The Trailblazers travel to Olney Central on Saturday.
“We are going to have to play well again on Saturday,” Meeks said. “They are really tough at home and they shoot it really well in their own gym.”