MVC Basketball Splits Doubleheader With Graceland

Posted December 7, 2013



Media Relations Contact:

Andy Pulverenti, sports information director, (660) 831-4230,





Marshall, Mo. (December 7, 2013)- The Missouri Valley College men’s and women’s basketball teams went on the road Saturday for a Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader in Lamoni, Iowa against Graceland University.  The women’s team came back from a halftime deficit to knock off the Yellowjackets 93-85.  The men’s team was defeated by Graceland 84-69.


The MVC women’s team briefly took a 1-0 lead, but Graceland quickly got on top, and held an advantage over the Vikings through the early stages of the first half.  The Vikings eventually took their second lead of the game at 14-12 with 14-minutes remaining in the first half off a field goal from Junior Guard TaLaya Earls (Indianapolis, Ind.).  The two teams battled through the middle part of the first half, but after the game was tied at 19-19 with 11-minutes left before halftime, Graceland went on a run.  The Yellowjackets outscored MVC by a 16-5 margin over the next three minutes to build up an 11 points lead.  MVC responded with a run of its own, outscoring Graceland 12-4 over a five minute span to trail by only three points at 39-36 with less than three minutes remaining in the half after a Sophomore Guard Rayna Smith (St. Louis, Mo.) free throw.  Graceland scored the final three points of the half, and took at 42-36 lead into the break.  MVC shot just 33-percent from the field in the half, but hit 11 of 13 free throws, while creating nine Graceland turnovers.


Graceland quickly extended its lead to nine points in the opening minutes of the second half.  A field goal by Senior Forward Gabi Morlaes (Bakersfield, Calif.) with 15:40 remaining in the game cut the Graceland lead to 49-46, however, just two minutes later the Yellowjackets put MVC in an eight point deficit at 56-48.  At this point, the Vikings took control of the game and went on a 14-5 run over a three minute stretch midway through the second half to get just their third lead of the game at 64-63.  Graceland responded with a basket on its next possession, but that would be the final lead of the game for the Yellowjackets.  MVC worked its lead up to five points at 71-66 with eight minutes remaining in the game after a field goal by Smith.  The Vikings eventually grew their lead to 11 points when Earls hit a field goal to make it an 88-77 MVC lead with two minutes remaining.  The Vikings tacked on some points in the final moments and held off Graceland for the 93-85 victory.


Leading the way for MVC was Morlaes who finished with 24 points and seven rebounds on nine of eleven shooting.  Earls and Smith both finished with 18 points and seven rebounds apiece, while Senior Forward Gabby Lovelace (Pleasant Hill, Mo.) finished with 12 points and five rebounds.  The Vikings shot 68-percent in the second half, while generating 20 turnovers.  The 93 points scored was the most for MVC since Feb. of 2008 when the Vikings defeated Central Methodist University 93-54.


The loss drops MVC to 7-3 overall and 1-1 in HAAC play.  Graceland drops to 5-4 overall and 1-1 in the HAAC.


The men’s team went back-and-forth with Graceland early in their game.  The Vikings were able to tie the game early at 2-2 after a Sophomore Jacob Powell (Marshfield, Mo.) field goal, but Graceland held a small lead over the Vikings through most of the early minutes in the first half.  Sophomore Raviel Burton (St. Johns, Antigua) finished a three-point play near the 15-minute mark to pull MVC to within two points at 7-5, but Graceland quickly extended its lead to eight points less than four minutes later.  Graceland kept at least a two-possession lead through the later stages of the first half, and put the Vikings in a double-digit deficit for the first time with four minutes remaining in the half at 31-21.  Graceland maintained the double-digit, and put MVC into a 15 point deficit at 40-25 heading into halftime.  The Vikings limited the Yellowjackets to just 38-percent shooting, but only created five turnovers.


The deficit for MVC grew early in the second half as Graceland went on a 13-3 run to extend its lead to 53-28.  The Vikings were able to get back to within 13 points at 73-60 with four minutes remaining in the game after a Freshman Jacob Fletcher (Springfield, Mo.) free throw, but that’s as close as the Vikings would get.  Graceland eventually came away with an 84-69 victory.


The Vikings were led by Burton who finished with a double-double of 26 points and 12 rebounds.  The 26 points is a career high for Burton at MVC and it was also his fourth double-double.  The Vikings shot 50-percent in the second half, and won the rebounding battle by a 41-39 margin.  The Vikings also forced 14 Graceland turnovers, nine of which came in the second half.


The loss drops MVC to 7-3 overall and 1-1 in HAAC play while Graceland improves to 9-2 overall and 2-0 in the HAAC.


Both MVC teams have a week off before hosting MidAmerica Nazarene University in a HAAC doubleheader at the Burns Athletic Complex Saturday Dec. 14.  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


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