MVC Basketball Earns Home Sweep of Avila ThursdayPosted February 13, 2014
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MVC VIKINGS BASKETBALL EARN HOME SWEEP OF AVILA THURSDAY
Marshall, Mo. (February 13, 2014)- The Missouri Valley College men’s and women’s basketball teams hosted Avila University for a Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader Thursday evening at the Burns Athletic Complex. The MVC women pulled off a late 50-48 victory while the Viking men’s basketball team pulled away late for an 81-70 win.
MVC took control of the game early against Avila, scoring five of the game’s first six points after Junior Guard DJ Jenkins (Fresno, Calif.) scored two of her five points to make it a 5-1 Viking lead just four minutes into the game. After Avila cut it to a one point MVC lead at 5-4, the Vikings rattled off nine straight points over a nearly four minute span to build up its largest lead at 14-4 after Junior Guard Paris Johnson (Kansas City, Kan.) scored two of her eight points with 12-minutes until halftime. The Vikings maintained a lead through the middle portion of the first half, with Avila getting to within two points at 20-18 with a little more than four minutes to play in the half. Avila eventually completed its comeback, taking the lead with just 35-seconds to play before halftime at 24-23, and eventually went into the halftime break leading MVC 26-25. The Vikings played good defense in the first half, limiting Avila to just 22-percent shooting, and forcing Avila into 10 turnovers.
MVC came out and quickly took control of the game, erasing the small deficit and building up a 32-28 lead after two free throws by Jenkins just four minutes after halftime. Avila followed that up with a quick 6-0 run over the next three minutes to grab its largest lead at 34-32 with just over 12-minutes to play in the game. The two teams traded baskets until the game was tied at 38-38 with eight minutes remaining. The Vikings then went on an 8-0 over the next three minutes and took a 46-38 lead after Senior Forward Gabby Lovelace (Pleasant Hill, Mo.) hit two free throws. Avila would not stay down long, as they responded with a 10-2 run of their own to tie the game at 48-48 with 15-seconds to play. MVC had one last possession, and Senior Forward Gabi Morales (Bakersfield, Calif.) was able to track down a missed shot of hers, and draw a foul with only two seconds to play. Morales sank two free throws, and Avila was unable to get a shot off before the final buzzer as MVC held on for a 50-48 victory.
The Vikings were led by Morales who finished with 13 points and seven rebounds. Also in double-figures for MVC was Lovelace who scored 10 points while grabbing seven rebounds. The Vikings limited Avila to just 25-percent shooting in the game, and forced 10 turnovers. MVC also won the rebounding battle by a 45-42 margin.
The win improves MVC to 15-10 overall and 7-6 in HAAC play. Avila falls to 5-16 on the season and 3-10 in conference.
The Vikings men’s team grabbed early control of its game, quickly scoring the game’s first five points off a three-point field goal by Senior Jim Thomas (St. Louis, Mo.) and a field goal by Sophomore Raviel Burton (St. Johns, Antigua) off an offensive rebound. The Vikings eventually stretched their lead to 11-5 after Junior Brad Hamilton (Pittsfield, Ill.) hit two free throws with 15-minutes to play in the first half. Avila followed that up with its best stretch, scoring six points in just one minute to tie the game at 11-11. The Vikings responded to the Avila run with one of their own, scoring 14 of the next 18 points to grab a 25-15 lead after another Thomas three-point field goal with nine minutes remaining until halftime. Avila slowly chipped away at the Viking lead over the next four minutes, eventually shrinking it to just three points at 30-27 with just under five minutes in the first half, but MVC had its lead stretched back out to 38-31 with 2:30 remaining in the half. However, Avila finished the first half strong, outscoring MVC by an 8-2 margin in the final two minutes to pull to within one point at 40-39. The Vikings shot over 55-percent in the first half and outrebounded Avila by a 23-10 margin.
MVC started the second half much in the same way as the first half, scoring the first five points after the break as Burton’s field goal with 18:18 left in the game gave MVC a 45-39 lead. The Vikings built up multiple six point leads in the early stages of the second half, but Avila was able to tie the game at 55-55 with 11-minutes remaining. The Vikings never relinquished the lead, and eventually went on a 10-1 run late in the second half that pushed a 65-64 lead into a 75-65 advantage after Junior Jacob Powell (Marshfield, Mo.) hit a three-point field goal with three minutes to play in the game. Avila got as close as five points in the game’s final minutes, but MVC went 6-8 from the free throw line in the final minute and held off Avila for an 81-70 victory.
The Vikings were led by Thomas who scored a career-high 24 points with five assists and two steals. This is the third game this season Thomas has scored at least 20 points, and the second-straight. Also, Powell scored a career-high 21 points off the bench, to go along with nine rebounds. The Vikings shot over 55-percetn from the field and generated 19 assists. MVC also won the rebounding battle 40-29 and limited Avila to just 38-percent shooting in the game.
The Vikings improve to 13-11 overall and 6-7 in HAAC play, while Avila falls to 5-17 on the season and 3-10 in the conference.
The MVC basketball teams hit the road Saturday and travel to Peru, Neb., for a HAAC doubleheader with Peru State College. The women’s game tips off at 2:00 p.m., and the men’s game is scheduled to start at 4:00 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.