MVC Drops Road Matchups to Culver-Stockton

Posted: Jan 24, 2013 9:06 PM
Updated: Jan 24, 2013 11:48 PM

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MARSHALL, MO -- The Missouri Valley College men's and women's basketball teams traveled to Canton, Mo. Thursday night for a Heart of America Athletic Conference double-header against Culver-Stockton College. The Lady Vikings were defeated 74-59, while the men's team was defeated by a 91-64 final score.

Despite dropping into an early 4-0 deficit, the Lady Vikings were able to take control early on in the first half against the Lady Wildcats. The Lady Vikings got their first lead of the game at the 16:30 mark when Senior Guard Sami Jackson (Barnard, Mo.) hit a jump shot. MVC eventually stretched its lead out to as big as five points multiple times in the first half, the latest at the 11-minute mark when Freshman Guard Rayna Smith (St. Louis, Mo.) scored her two points in the game. From there the Lady Wildcats took control of the game going on a 14-2 run over the next six minutes to pull ahead 27-20. The two teams traded baskets through the last few minutes of the first half as Culver went into the halftime break leading 33-26. The Lady Vikings were able to generate 12 points in the paint in the first half, and score seven points off turnovers.

Culver started the second half strong, scoring 11 of the first 13 points in the second half to extend the lead to 44-38 five minutes into the second half. The Lady Wildcats added to their lead throughout the next seven minutes, building up a 23-point lead with 7:30 remaining in the game. The Lady Vikings started to make a comeback with a 13-0 run over a five minute stretch to pull within 10-points at 65-55. Despite the comeback attempt, the Lady Vikings could not cut the deficit to single digits, and culver would come away with a 74-59 victory.

Leading the way for MVC was Senior Center Cara Clark (Omaha, Neb.) who finished with 19 points and five rebounds. Jackson was also in double-figures with 18 points and six assists. The Lady Vikings shot nearly 46-percent in the second, and forced Culver to turn the ball over 20-times in the game.

The loss drops MVC to 6-16 overall and 3-7 in the HAAC. Culver improves to 9-11 on the season and 4-6 in the conference.

In the men's game, the Vikings came out and got on the board first as Junior Law Brown (Chicago, Ill.) scored to open the game and give MVC the early lead. Culver quickly responded and went on a 13-3 run over the next five minutes to take the lead away from MVC and put the Vikings in an early eight point deficit. Culver was able to gradually add to the lead, taking a 31-12 advantage at the eight minute mark. The Vikings worked back into the game, going on an 11-3 run over a nearly four minutes stretch to pull to within 11-points at 34-23. The two teams traded baskets through the rest of the first half, and Culver took a 43-31 lead into halftime. The Vikings got 14 points from the bench in the first half, and kept Culver from scoring any points off turnovers.

To start the second half the Vikings got back to within single-digits at 43-35 after a Freshman Jordan Epps (Springfield, Mo.) jumper at the 18:38 mark. The eight point deficit was as close as the Vikings would get in the second half as Culver was able to build up a 21-point lead midway through the second half and not look back. Culver eventually came away with a 91-64 victory.

Leading the way for MVC was the HAAC's leading scorer, Epps, who had 18 points, four rebounds, and four steals. Also in double-figures for the Vikings were Brown who had 16 points and seven rebounds, and Junior Kendall Hayes (Houston, Texas) who had a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Vikings forced Culver to turn the ball over 13 times and received 21 points off the bench.

The loss drops MVC to 9-13 overall and 4-6 in HAAC play. Culver, which is receiving votes in the current men's top 25 poll, improves to 16-6 overall and 7-3 in the conference.

The MVC men's and women's basketball teams will play on at home Saturday afternoon at the Burns Athletic Complex, hosting Baker University. Women's game time is 2 p.m. and the men's game is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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