Danville’s full-court pressure defense recorded 32 steals in Friday’s win over Mattoon.

The Vikings were not quite that successful on Tuesday night against Champaign Centennial, but Danville was still able to steal a 54-47 Big 12 victory.

“Coach told us coming in that we needed to play our game, but we didn’t do that in the first three quarters,’’ said junior guard Daveon Allen, who had 14 points as he was starting for Ronnie Bell. “Finally in the fourth quarter, when it was gut-check time, we started playing defense like we are capable of playing.’’

The Vikings (4-3 overall, 2-0 in the Big 12) turned 30-27 deficit after three quarters into a 36-30 lead in just over two minutes with its full-court pressure defense.

Centennial (2-4, 0-1) had three turnovers, two missed free throws and a missed 3-pointer during that stretch.

“Our full-court pressure is the foundation to our defense,’’ Tidwell said. “I thought we got out in the fourth quarter, we changed the lineup a little bit on it where we were face guarding their guards, and it created some turnovers in our favor. We got a lot of easy baskets because of it.’’

Senior Stanley Tyler scored five of his career-high 23 during that short 9-0 run, which was all part of a 13-0 run going back to J.D. Reed’s basket with 2 minutes, 36 seconds left in the third quarter.

“We just turned it up more on defense and made them turn the ball over,’’ Tyler said. “We started taking the ball to the basketball more and getting fouled.

“We just had to play harder. We had to step our game up to another level.’’

Tidwell was pleased with the way his team responded after being outplayed for three quarters by a team they beat 53-51 on Nov. 20.

“It’s a challenging week. We have two of our guys (Bell and Mikel Brigham) that are academically ineligible,’’ he said. “For our guys to withstand a bad first half and withstand that challenge of not having a couple of guys here, makes me proud as a coach.

“I think they could have easily gotten down on themselves and have an excuse for not winning or not playing well and they did a better job in the second half of competing and getting after it and creating things offensively a little better.’’

Tyler admitted playing with Bell was a challenge but he credited Allen, a junior, for filling in well.

“He’s got the confidence to play well, he just needs to play his game,’’ Tyler said.

Tidwell also spoke highly of the junior, who scored all 14 of his points in the second half.

“When you get into a challenging situation, I think competitors respond and I’m proud of my guys for responding the way that they did,’’ Tidwell said. “(Allen) is a competitor and he likes the pressure situation. He is extremely gifted athlete and I like his confidence at the end of the game.

“Some players like pressure situations and he’s been that guy for us, so far.’’

Allen admitted that coach said before the game that someone needed to step up for the Vikings.

“We look up to our seniors and I needed to be the guy to fill Ronnie’s role tonight,’’ he said.

Tyler was also a pressure-situation guy for Danville as he made 9-of-10 free throws in the final three minutes and the Vikings, as a team, were 12-of-14 at the charity stripe.

“We put our guys into a pressure situation in practice to be able to knock those down,’ Tidwell said. “I was pleased with our guys stepping up and hitting them when they counted.’’

Tidwell also pointed out that senior reserve forward O’Brian Bonner energized the Vikings defense in the second half.

“He gave us a little more quickness in the post and I think that sparked us defensively,’’ Tidwell said.

Leyton Seeber had a team-high 13 points off the bench for the Chargers.

Mikel Leshoure, who has had big games against Danville in the past on both the football field and the basketball court, was held to just two points.

The Vikings return home this Friday night as Danville will host Decatur MacArthur in a Big 12 contest.

Action starts at 6 p.m. with the junior varsity contest and the varsity contest will follow.