Velky's big second half propels Truman to 2-0 start
ST. LOUIS - After being held scoreless in the first half with just as many field goal attempts as personal fouls, Jake Velky (pictured) played like the No. 24 we're accustomed to seeing in the second period. The junior guard went off for 22 points in the final 20 minutes and the Truman State University men's basketball team held off a pesky Cedarville (0-2) squad for a 10-point victory, 75-65.
Velky was also the assist leader with three and was one of four in double-figures for the Purple and White followed by Zach Fischer (16), Taurin Hughes (13) and Nathan Messer (11). In that second half, Velky was 6-of-8 from the floor, 3-for-5 from three-point land and converted seven of his eight free throw attempts. Oh, and he scored those 22 points in just 17 minutes (!!!).
One day after Truman started three players for the first time in their careers, Hughes joined that club on Sunday. The redshirt junior turned in a second-consecutive 10+ point performance for his first time ever. Fischer came within one rebound of back-to-back double-doubles and finished the weekend with averages of 20 points and 10 boards per contest.
Unlike Saturday against Trevecca Nazarene, Truman's opponent began the game with a 9-0 run and Cedarville was three for its first three from the field. The Bulldogs took the Yellow Jackets' bet, though, and raised it with an 18-4 spurt of their own that lasted until the 12:08 mark of the first half. During that chunk of time, Fischer's eight points led five Truman scorers and Alex McQuinn splashed in his first career field goal. The Yellow Jackets continued to battle much like they did the entire day and cut the deficit to two on two occasions at 18-16 and 20-18. After that until the end of the half, Truman doubled up Cedarville 12-6, Hughes cashed in a three at the buzzer and the Bulldogs went into the intermission up eight, 32-24.
Out of the locker room, Truman turned up the heat with 13 of the first 17 points to take its biggest advantage of the game at 17, 45-28, with 16:01 to play. The Bulldogs maintained a lead of at least eight points until the five-minute mark came and went. Starting with 4:39 to play in the contest until the 2:35 mark, the Yellow Jackets outscored the good guys 8-1 and were within three, 68-65. However, Truman didn't surrender another point the rest of the way and scored seven in the process to win with the 10-point margin.
Next up, Truman will be thinking about revenge when it makes its home debut on Wednesday vs. Lindenwood with the start time set for 7 p.m. Last season, the Bulldogs lost just one of their first nine games and it was against the Lions in St. Charles on Nov. 16, 94-83.
Courtesy of Truman State Athletics