Craig Porter hit a 3-pointer with 43 seconds left to give No. 9 Vincennes a two-point lead en route to beating host Lake Land, 70-64.
The Lakers had led most of the second half up to that basket.
The first half saw the Trailblazers use their size advantage in building a 21-7 lead with 11:15 to go in the half. They scored eight of their 21 points off second-chance opportunities. At this point the Lakers started to gain some momentum.
The bench came in and gave them a lift. Maurice Welfare-Harris, Christian Kapongo, and Ty Waller combined to score 14 points over the next 12 minutes. A Waller runner at the buzzer cut the lead down to 31-30 going into the break. Isaiah May led the Laker scorers at the half with nine points.
Lake Land took the lead on the first play of the half as an Adam Price layup gave them the 32-31 advantage. The two teams would trade baskets over the next five minutes with neither team seeing more than a two-point cushion. Coming off back-to-back 3-pointers by Price, the Lakers took their biggest advantage 47-40 with 13:40 to go in the game.
Vincennes slowly chipped away at its deficit before taking the lead for good in the last minute on the Porter 3-pointer. Four free-throws by the Blazers sandwiched between two Laker turnovers led to the final six-point margin.
“I felt like defensively this was our best effort of the year,” coach Brandon Colvin said. “The guys did a great job of fighting through the early deficit and giving themselves a chance to win it.”
The Lakers shot 42% from the field overall, and 6-of-12 on 3s.
Vincennes shot 41% overall and hit 7-33 (21%) from beyond the arc. The difference proved to be at the line with VU holding a 20-12 advantage on attempts.
The Trailblazers won the battle on the boards with a 47-28 advantage, including 17-7 on offensive rebounds.
“I thought we did take care of the ball well,” Colvin said. “However, I know we have to fix the issue with our rebounding for us to take the next step.”
Price led the way with 15 points, while May added 13 and Waller had 11.
Leading the way for VU was Kevin Osawe with 20 points and 15 rebounds. Chinedu Okanu added 16 points and eight rebounds.
Lake Land dropped to 5-12 overall, while Vincennes improved to 16-2. The Lakers are in action next on Saturday when they host Southwestern Illinois College at 5 pm.