Posted: Jan 4, 2013 9:44 AM
MARSHALL, MO -- The Missouri Valley College men's and women's basketball teams welcomed Evangel University to Grover C. Redford Gymnasium on Thursday evening for the first basketball games of the new year. The Lady Vikings were defeated by a 53-42 score while the men's team was knocked off by No. 18 Evangel 88-61.
The Lady Vikings found themselves in an early hole against the Lady Crusaders, down by as many as five points within the game's first five minutes. From there the Lady Vikings went on an 11-2 run over the next five minutes and grabbed a 13-9 lead after Senior Guard Sami Jackson got three of her eight points off a made three-point field goal midway through the first half. From there both teams traded baskets, neither leading by more than two points. Eventually Evangel took a one point lead going into the halftime break at 26-25.
MVC came out strong in the second half, beginning with an 8-0 run capped off by two Senior Center Cara Clark free throws to give the Lady Vikings a five point lead with just over 11 minutes remaining in the game. Evangel put on a 13-2 run of their own over the next three minutes to take a 41-35 lead with just over eight minutes remaining. The Lady Vikings came back to a 41-40 deficit with just under six minutes remaining, but Evangel pulled away late in the ball game to take a 53-42 victory.
Leading the way for MVC was Senior Forward Gabi Morales with 10 rebounds, four points, and three blocked shots.
The Lady Vikings played the Lady Crusaders to a draw in rebounding, with both teams pulling down 36 boards. The Lady Vikings also produced 12 assists in the game, and blocked four Lady Crusader shots.
The loss drops the Lady Vikings to 4-11 overall and 1-2 in Heart of America Athletic Conference play. The Lady Crusaders improve to 3-6 overall and 2-1 in the conference.
The Vikings wasted little time in getting started against the No. 18 ranked Crusaders scoring the game's first six points to take an early lead. The fast start was capped off by a two-point field goal from Freshman Jordan Epps. From there, the two teams went back and forth. The Vikings eventually held a 25-21 advantage at the five minute mark, but Evangel ended the half on a run of their own. Evangel went on a 13-3 run over the final five minutes of the first half to take a 34-28 lead into the break.
The Crusaders kept the Vikings from making a comeback by taking control early in the second half. Evangel built up a 40-31 lead just two minutes after halftime. The Vikings eventually got back to within eight points around the 15-minute mark, but that's as close as they Vikings would get. Evangel steadily added to their lead before eventually coming away with the 88-61 victory.
Leading the way for MVC was Epps with 18 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Also in double-figures was Senior James Pope with 13 points and eight rebounds.
The Vikings hit the offensive glass hard in the game, coming up with 15 offensive rebounds. MVC also came up with nine steals and forced Evangel into 15 turnovers.
The loss drops Missouri Valley to 5-10 overall and 0-3 in the HAAC. Evangel improves to 10-4 on the season and 3-1 in conference play.
Up next for the men's and women's basketball teams is a road trip to Peru, Nebraska on Saturday for HAAC matchups with Peru State University. Women's game starts at 2 p.m., and the men's game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.