MVC Basketball Splits Conference Road Doubleheader With Baker

Posted January 25, 2014

Media Relations Contact:

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




Marshall, Mo. (January 25, 2014)- The Missouri Valley College men’s and women’s basketball teams traveled to Baldwin City, Kan., Saturday afternoon for a Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader with Baker University. The MVC women’s team led No. 20 Baker at halftime, but eventually fell 80-71. The men’s team was able to pull away from Baker 73-67.


The Viking women’s basketball team got out to a quick start thanks to two made field goal attempts from Senior Forward Gabi Morales (Bakersfield, Calif.) to put MVC up 4-0 in less than one minute. Baker was able to respond from the early Viking advantage, and went on a 13-0 run over the next four minutes to put MVC in a 13-4 hole with 15-minutes to play in the first half. The Vikings followed up the Baker run with one of their own, scoring nine of the next ten points to make it a 14-13 Baker lead after Junior Forward Samantha Kixmiller (Kearney, Mo.) scored her only two points of the game. Eventually, the Vikings were able to retake the lead at 20-18 after a Morales field goal with seven minutes until halftime. The two teams traded baskets through the remainder of the first half, but MVC was able to grab a 34-32 lead as the teams went into the halftime break. MVC forced Baker into eight turnovers and limited the Wildcats to just 30-percent shooting in the first half.


The Vikings started the second half by not surrendering the lead to Baker through the first five minutes after halftime. Baker eventually led by a 44-42 score, but MVC quickly grabbed the lead back at 46-44 after another Morales field goal with 12:30 to play in the game. However, Baker put together a run over the next three minutes that turned the MVC lead into an 11-point Baker advantage. A 15-2 run by the Wildcats made it a 59-48 Baker lead with just over nine minutes to play in the second half. The Vikings briefly got the deficit back to single digits at 59-50, but Baker scored five straight points and had its largest lead of the game at 64-50 with just under seven minutes to play. Eventually, Baker led by a 70-58 score with just over five minutes to play in the game, but MVC put together another run to climb back into the contest. The Vikings scored 11 of the next 13 points to pull back to within three points at 72-69 with two minutes remaining in regulation. Baker proved too strong in the end, going six for six from the free throw line in the final minute to pull away and beat MVC 80-71.


The Vikings were led by Morales who recorded her recorded her ninth double-double of the season with career-high 29 points on 50-percent shooting. Morales also set a career-high with 12 field goals and 24 attempts. Also in double-figures was Johnson who scored 15 points off the bench, while Junior Guard TaLaya Earls (Indianapolis, Ind.) finished with 10 points. The Vikings forced Baker into 16 turnovers in the game and limited the Wildcats to just 38-percent shooting from the floor.


The loss snaps a four game conference winning streak and drops MVC to 13-8 overall and 5-4 in HAAC play. Baker improves to 15-5 on the season and 8-1 in conference play.


The Vikings came out and were able to dictate play early in the first half against Baker. The Vikings started the game by going on an 11-3 run over the first five minutes, and capped their streak off with Junior Andre Scott (San Antonio, Texas) scoring two of his seven points. Baker tried to climb back into the game, but the Vikings maintained at least a five point advantage through the first 14-minutes of the game. MVC built up its largest lead at 24-14 with nine minutes to play after Sophomore Jacob Powell (Marshfield, Mo.) scored his only two points of the game. However, Baker was able to slowly chip away the deficit, eventually making it a 28-25 MVC lead with three minutes remaining in the first half. The Vikings had a 31-25 lead with one minute before halftime, but Baker scored the final four points before the break, and MVC held a 31-29 lead after the first half. The Vikings forced Baker into 11 turnovers in the first half, and never let the Wildcats hold a lead.


The second half started much in the same way as the first half, but in favor of Baker. The Wildcats scored nine-straight points to start the half and led 38-31 just two minutes after the restart. The Vikings responded with a run of their own, scoring 12 of the next 15 points to turn the seven point deficit into a 43-40 lead when Sophomore Raviel Burton (St. Johns, Antigua) hit a field goal with just under 13-minutes to play. The two teams traded baskets over the next five minutes, and Baker got to within one point at 50-49 midway through the half. The Vikings made sure Baker would not have a chance to reclaim the lead, and went on a 12-4 run over the next three minutes to grow the one point lead into a 62-53 advantage, capped off by Senior Jim Thomas (St. Louis, Mo.) hitting a field goal with 5:30 to play in the game. The Vikings eventually grew their lead to its largest point, at 68-57 with three minutes remaining in regulation, but Baker made a last minute run at MVC. The Wildcats scored 10 of the next 12 points to wipe MVC’s lead down to just three points with 29-seconds to play, but MVC went four for four from the free throw line in the final seconds and held on for the 73-67 victory.


Leading the way for MVC was Junior Brad Hamilton (Pittsfield, Ill.) who scored a game-high 19 points on six of nine shooting, including four three-point field goals. Burton finished with 16 points, five rebounds and two blocks, while Thomas had 12 points, 5 rebounds, four assists and two steals. Also in double figures as Junior James Lane (Cape Girardeau, Mo.) who scored 10 points. The Vikings shot over 60-percent in the second half and made 17 of 20 free throws. MVC forced Baker into 17 turnovers and scored 21 points off those turnovers.


The win snaps a three game losing streak in conference play and moves MVC to 11-9 overall and 4-5 in HAAC play. Baker falls to 8-12 on the season and 2-7 in the conference.


The MVC basketball teams will play a road doubleheader at Central Methodist University Thursday in Fayette, Mo. Women’s game time is 5:30 p.m., and the men’s tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 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


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