MVC Men's and Women's Basketball Open HAAC Play Hosting CMUPosted December 6, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Relations Contact:
Andy Pulverenti, sports information director, (660) 831-4230, firstname.lastname@example.org
MVC MEN’S AND WOMEN’S BASKETBALL OPEN HAAC PLAY HOSTING CMU
Marshall, Mo. (December 5, 2013)- The Missouri Valley College men’s and women’s basketball teams opened Heart of America Athletic Conference play Thursday evening at the Burns Athletic Complex, hosting Central Methodist University. The women’s team dug themselves out of an early hole, but was defeated by CMU 79-71. The men’s team led virtually the entire game and pulled out a 71-70 win.
The women’s team struggled to get anything going early, as CMU scored the game’s first 13 points. The Vikings got on the board for the first time four minutes into the game when Senior Forward Brielle Martinez scored two of her eight points off the bench. Despite the early deficit, the Vikings mounted a comeback. MVC got to within four points at 21-17 after a made three-point attempt by Junior Guard DeVaughna Jenkins (Fresno, Calif.) with just under nine minutes remaining in the first half. CMU was able to push its lead back out to double-digits at 30-17 with seven minutes to play in the half, but MVC put together another run. This time MVC went on a 17-4 run over the next five minutes and took a 36-34 lead after two made free throws by Jenkins. Eventually the Vikings went into halftime with a 39-38 advantage. MVC was able to force CMU into 12 turnovers, and the Vikings won the rebounding battle by a 31-22 margin.
The two teams played back-and-forth basketball through the early stages of the second half. MVC built up a three-point lead thanks to a three-point field goal by Senior Forward Gabi Morales (Bakersfield, Calif.) to make it a 49-46 Viking lead with 15-minutes left to play. CMU responded and grabbed a 57-52 lead just four minutes later, but MVC came back to tie the game at 60-60 after a made three-pointer by Junior Guard TaLaya Earls (Indianapolis, Ind.) with nine minutes remaining. However, that would be as close as the Vikings would get to re-taking the lead as CMU was able to maintain a lead over the final minutes of the game, and hold off the Vikings 79-71.
Leading the way for MVC was Earls who finished with a game-high 20 points to go along with nine rebounds. Senior Guard Regine Mecenario (Delano, Calif.) came off the bench to score 14 points and Jenkins finished with 11 points, five steals and five assists. The Vikings came up with 22 CMU turnovers, but difference was at the foul line where CMU shot 23 of 28 while the VIkings were 10 of 16.
The loss drops MVC to 6-3 overall and 0-1 in HAAC play. The loss also snapped a six-game winning streak for the Vikings. CMU, which entered the game in the “others receiving votes” category of the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches Poll, improves to 7-1 overall and 1-0 in the HAAC.
The men’s team got out early against Central Methodist in the second game of the doubleheader. After trailing by an early 5-2 score, the Vikings took control of the game. After the Vikings retook the lead at 8-5 off a Junior Brad Hamilton (Pittsfield, Ill.) three-pointer, the Vikings gradually built on their lead, until holding a 23-11 advantage with eight minutes remaining in the first half after a Sophomore Raviel Burton (St. Johns, Antigua) made field goal. CMU chipped away at the Viking lead, eventually cutting it to just five points at 27-22 with three minutes remaining in the half. The Vikings, however, scored nine of the final 13 points in the final moments of the half and took a 36-26 lead into the halftime break. The Vikings limited CMU to just 27-percent shooting in the first half, and created seven turnovers.
The second half started off well for MVC as the Vikings built up their lead to as large as 14 points when Senior Jim Thomas (St. Louis, Mo.) hit a three-pointer at the 18:23 mark to put MVC ahead 46-32. CMU responded, and eventually cut MVC’s lead to just five points at 48-43 with just under 10-minutes remaining in the game. The Vikings pushed their lead back to eight points twice over the next couple of minutes, but CMU knocked the lead down to four points at 59-57 with less than four minutes to play. Despite the comeback attempt by CMU, the Vikings never gave up their lead. CMU tried to create a last minute comeback, but the Vikings went five of six from the free throw line in the final 30-seconds, including three free throws from Junior Andre Scott (San Antonio, Texas) to seal the victory for Missouri Valley 71-70.
Leading the way for MVC was Hamilton who finished with 24 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Burton finished with 16 points on six of seven shooting, with six rebounds and two blocked shots. Also in double-digits were Scott with 13 points and Thomas with 10 points and seven rebounds. The Vikings blocked eight CMU shots in the game, and forced CMU into 12 turnovers. MVC also finished with a 13-8 advantage in points off turnovers and had 18 points off the bench.
The win improves MVC to 7-2 overall and 1-0 in HAAC play while CMU falls to 6-5 and 0-1 in the conference.
Up next, the Viking men’s and women’s basketball teams will travel to Lamoni, Iowa for a Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader against Graceland University Saturday. Women’s game starts at 2:00 p.m., the men’s game has a 4:00 p.m. start time.
About Missouri Valley College
Known for its dynamic, richly diverse, and friendly educational environment, Missouri Valley College offers many opportunities to grow in mind, body, and spirit. Grounded in the liberal arts, undergraduate studies empower students to master interdisciplinary skills needed to succeed in a knowledge-based global society. MVC offers over 40 academic programs, study abroad program, honors program, extracurricular activities, and 13 sports. The most popular majors include education and business, and some new majors are ag-business, nursing, graphic design, and health information systems (associate degree). Above all, Valley is committed to student success. For more information, call (660) 831-4000 or visit www.moval.edu.