Posted: Jan 11, 2013 10:14 AM
FAYETTE, MO -- The Missouri Valley College men pulled out a Heart of America Athletic Conferece win Thursday night. Despite CMU getting the first points on the board, the Vikings took control of the game from there, and never looked back. The Vikings took their first lead at 5-2 after Senior Michael Connor hit a three-pointer just three minutes into the game. MVC gradually added to their lead in the first half, building up to a 34-21 advantage with four minutes remaining in the first half. Despite the large deficit, CMU was able to put together an 11-2 run to end the half, but the Vikings went into the locker room with a 36-32 lead. The Vikings shot over 55-percent in the first half, while limiting CMU to just over 38-percent.
In the early stages of the second half, CMU chipped away at the Viking lead, eventually making it a two point MVC advantage at 40-38 around the 16-minute mark. The Vikings responded and put together a 13-5 run over the next four minutes to extend their lead to double-digits. The two teams traded baskets over the rest of the second half. CMU would never get closer than a six-point deficit, with MVC up by most double-digits after the midway point in the half. The Vikings got their first HAAC victory of the season with the 81-70 final score.
Leading the way for MVC was the HAAC's leading scorer Freshman Jordan Epps. Epps finished with 17 points, three assists, and three steals. Also in double-figures for the Vikings included Junior Law Brown with 14 points and six rebounds, Connor with 11 points and four rebounds, and Junior Kendall Hays with 10 points and four rebounds in his first action of the season. The Vikings shot over 55-percent in the game, won the rebounding battle 32-30, and forced CMU to turn the ball over 16 times resulting in 21 points off turnovers.Brown finished with 14 points. Michael Connor and Kendall Hays added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Tillman was 7-of-21 from the field and made a career-high 9 free throws on 10 attempts.
Banks, Jr. posted career-highs in points (20) and rebounds (8). The Hanover Park, Ill., native hit a career-high seven buckets (7-of-14) and tied a career-high with four treys (4-of-10), including three in the first half.
The win improves the Vikings to 6-11 overall and 1-4 in the HAAC, while CMU drops to 11-7 overall and 4-2 in conference play.
Central Methodist travel to Benedictine on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. CT.
Up next Missouri Valley College is a Saturday home game with MidAmerica Nazarene University. The game is scheduled to start at 4:00 p.m. at the Burns Athletic Complex following the women's game.