Posted: Feb 28, 2013 9:07 PM
Updated: Feb 28, 2013 10:21 PM
MARSHALL, MO - The Missouri Valley College Lady Viking basketball team played regular season Heart of America Athletic Conference champion No. 9 MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kan. Thursday night in the opening round of the HAAC Postseason Tournament. The Lady Vikings pushed MNU for the entire game, but came up short in the 73-64 defeat.
The Lady Vikings found themselves in an early hole as MNU scored 11 of the game's first 13 points to grab a nine point lead at the 15:28 mark. The Lady Vikings responded and scored six quick points capped off by two of Senior Guard Sami Jackson's nine points to pull MVC to within three points with 12:30 left in the first half. Over the next six minutes the Lady Pioneers outscored MVC by a 17-3 margin to stretch their lead to 17 points. The two teams traded baskets from there, and MNU went into the halftime break with a 41-27 lead. The Lady Vikings forced MNU into nine turnovers. MVC also grabbed 16 rebounds in the first half.
MNU came out early in the second half and stretched their 14-point lead into a 19-point advantage just three minutes after the restart. Despite the large deficit, the Lady Vikings put together a strong stretch, putting together a 12-3 run over the next five minutes to cut the Lady Pioneer lead to 52-42. The Lady Vikings got even closer as Senior Center Cara Clark (Omaha, Neb.) converted three of her nine points at the 9:13 mark. The two teams traded baskets over the next three minutes and a Junior Forward Gabi Morales made two-point field goal at the six minute mark put MVC back to a six point deficit. Earlier in the day, Morales was named to the HAAC all-conference third team. Unfortunately the Lady Vikings could not get any closer as MNU led by double-digits throughout most of the last five minutes, before downing MVC 73-64.
Leading the way for MVC was Sophomore Center Samantha Kixmiller who finished with 17 points, six rebounds and two steals. She was the only Lady Viking in double-figures. The Lady Vikings forced 22 MNU turnovers converting those turnovers into 27 points. The Lady Vikings also received 37 points from their bench.
The loss ends the Lady Vikings' 2012-2013 season with a record of 8-23. MNU advances to the HAAC Postseason Tournament semifinals with a record of 28-2.