February 12, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – An 11-0 run midway through the second half erased a four-point deficit (40-36) and propelled No. 1-ranked Vincennes University to a 76-69 win over John A. Logan College Wednesday before a standing-room only “Herrin Night” crowd at the Donald L. Brewer Gymnasium and Convocation Center.

The 24th-ranked Volunteers trailed by 13 early in the first half at 18-5, but put together a rally of their own to take a 38-36 lead into the halftime break.

Each team boasted five double-figure scorers. The visitors were led by Everett Clemons with 15 points. Mychal Mulder followed with 14. Charles Foster and Keith Mack tallied 11 apiece. Nigel Holley added 10. The Trailblazers, now 26-0 on the season, were 31-of-52 from the field or 60 percent. They were only 1-of-9 on threes and 13-of-23 from the free-throw line.

Logan, now 20-5, was paced offensively by freshman guard Devontavius Payne’s 17 points. The former Carbondale Terrier was 5-of-11 from the field, including 3-of-6 from long range and 4-of-5 from the line. Sophomore point guard A.J. Riley dropped in 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Sophomore post player Russell Woods knocked down 13 points on five field goals and three free throws. Jordan Martin also had five field goals and finished with 12 points. Martavian Payne netted 10 points, but struggled from the field, converting only 3-of-13 shots, including 0-of-7 from beyond the arc. He was, however, 4-of-4 from the charity stripe.

Five other Logan players saw action Wednesday, but combined to score only three points.

As a team, the Vols were a mediocre 41 percent from the field (26-of-63 and only 3-of-15 (20 percent) from long range with Devontavius Payne credited with all three of the makes. The home team was 14-of-22 from the line.

Logan was out-rebounded for one of the few times this season, 31-to-25. Martavian Payne and Woods were tops with six each. The Vols turned the ball over only 10 times on the night, but had back-to-back miscues with less than a minute to play.

“I don’t have a problem with unselfish turnovers,” said JALC head coach Kyle Smithpeters. “We had the ball in the hands of the players we wanted to have it late in the game. They were trying to make a pass to a teammate and it just didn’t work out.”

Woods fouled out with about 1:30 to play. Smithpeters wasn’t pleased with some of the calls that went against his big man.

“Russell…the poor guy had about three fouls tonight that were really tough,” Smithpeters said. “But that’s how it goes. You have to have guys step up to the plate and deliver when something goes against you. We kept trying to hit home runs when we should have been trying to move the basketball more because they couldn’t guard us. It came down to us trying to do too much at times.”

Logan returns to action at 3 p.m. Saturday at home against Rend Lake in a key Great Rivers Athletic Conference match.

Smithpeters said his players will have to put the Vincennes game behind them and focus on winning the league. Logan presently holds a two-game lead over Southwestern Illinois.

“We’ve done a very good job all season of regrouping after losses,” Smithpeters said.