Vikings host MidAmerica Nazarene Saturday in Basketball DoubleheaderPosted December 14, 2013
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Andy Pulverenti, sports information director, (660) 831-4230, email@example.com
MVC HOSTS MNU IN CONFERENCE DOUBLEHEADER SATURDAY
Marshall, Mo. (December 14, 2013)- The Missouri Valley College basketball teams hosted MidAmerica Nazarene University in a Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader Saturday at the Burns Athletic Complex. The women’s team fell to No. 6 MidAmerica Nazarene 69-57 while the men’s team lost to MNU 91-73.
In the women’s matchup, the Vikings struggled to get much going on offense. MNU jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first five minutes, as the Vikings started 0-7 from the field. Despite the slow start, the Vikings worked their way back into the game. MVC got back to within an 11-5 score with 14:30 left in the first half off a Senior Forward Gabi Morales (Bakersfield, Calif.) field goal. After the Pioneers worked their lead back to ten points at 19-9, the Viking fought back with a 9-0 run over a three minute timespan midway through the half. The MNU lead was cut to just 19-18 with eight minutes before halftime on another Morales field goal. MVC eventually tied the game later in the first half at 23-23 when Morales connected on two free throws. MNU never relinquished the lead, however, and finished the half by outscoring the Vikings in the final six minutes 16-8 to go into the halftime break up 39-31. The Vikings held MNU to just 38-percent shooting, and MVC took advantage of its opportunities from the foul line, hitting 6 of 7 free throws.
MNU was able to quickly get its lead back to double-digits at 41-31 early in the second half, but again the Vikings fought their way back into the game. MVC slowly chipped away at the MNU lead over a seven minute span in the second half, to work the double-digit deficit to just one point when Senior Guard Regine Mecenario (Delano, Calif.) scored two of her eight points from the free throw line to make it a 46-45 MNU lead with 12-minutes left in the game. Sophomore Guard Rayna Smith (St. Louis, Mo.) scored two of her three points one minute later to answer a Pioneer field goal and put MVC back to within one point. However, MNU scored 13 of the next 15 points over a six minute span to build its lead back to 12 points, and maintained a double-digit lead through the final four minutes of play to defeat MVC 69-57.
Leading MVC was Morales who finished with her third double-double of the season, scoring 21 points and grabbing 12 rebounds with two steals. Also in double-digits was Senior Forward Gabby Lovelace with 12 points, three steals and two steals. Smith finished with a career-high ten rebounds in the game. MVC won the rebounding battle by a 36-35 margin, and held MNU to just 29-percent shooting in the second half and 34-percent shooting in the game.
The loss drops MVC to 7-4 overall and 1-2 in HAAC play while MidAmerica Nazarene improves to 9-1 on the season and 3-0 in the HAAC.
The women’s team will next be in action Dec. 17 hosting Sterling College at the Burns Athletic Complex with a 5:00 p.m. tip-off.
The MVC men’s team also found themselves in an early hole, as MNU jumped out to an 11-0 lead in the game’s first four minutes. The Pioneers eventually led by as many as 13 points early in the first half. The Vikings were able to nearly cut the lead in half by the 10-minute mark of the first half when Junior Brad Hamilton (Pittsfield, Mo.) hit a three-point field goal to make it an 18-11 game. MNU eventually stretched its lead to 14 points twice in the first half, but MVC again made a run at the Pioneers, rattling off an 11-3 run over a three minute span late in the first half to cut the MNU lead to 32-26 after Sophomore Jacob Powell (Marshfield, Mo.) scored two of his seven points. The two teams traded buckets over the final four minutes, and MVC went into the halftime break trailing 40-33. MVC forced seven MNU turnovers in the first half and the Vikings came down with eight offensive rebounds.
MVC started the second half strong, after briefly falling behind by nine points. The Vikings chipped away at the MNU lead in the first three minutes of the second half, and trailed by just three points at 48-45 after a Powell three-point play. MNU responded, however, and went on a 14-2 run over the next four minutes and grew its lead to 67-42. The Pioneers extended their lead to 20 points for the first time at 73-53 midway through the second half, and eventually held off the Vikings for a 91-73 win.
Leading the way for MVC was Junior James Lane (Cape Girardeau, Mo.), playing in his first game of the season. Coming off the bench, Lane scored 20 points on 10 of 16 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds. Also in double figures was Hamilton who finished with 11 points and six rebounds. The Vikings shot nearly 49-percent in the second half, and forced MNU to turn the ball over 18 times, including 12 steals.
The loss drops MC to 7-5 overall and 1-2 in HAAC play. MNU, which entered the game in the “others receiving votes” category of the NAIA Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, improves to 8-3 and 1-2 in conference play.
The Vikings have a short turn-around as they travel to William Woods Monday for a non-conference game in Fulton, Mo. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
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.