MVC Basketball Teams Drop Double-Header to Baker
MARSHALL, MO -- The Missouri Valley College men's and women's basketball teams hit the road Saturday to Baldwin City, Kansas, for Heart of America Athletic Conference matchups with Baker University. Baker swept the double-head, winning 77-62 in the women's game, and beating the Missouri Valley men's team 74-61.
In the women's game, the Lady Vikings found themselves in an early deficit, trailing by 10-points just four minutes into the game. MVC was able to claw back to within one point, at 16-15, with just over 12-minutes remaining in the half on a three-pointer by Senior Guard Lindsi Jackson. Baker, though, responded and held the Lady Vikings off through the rest of the first half, ending the half on a 6-0 run in the final two minutes to make it a 36-28 Baker lead heading into halftime.
The Lady Vikings struggled from the field in the first half, shooting just 31-percent and making only one of six three-point attempts. However, the Lady Vikings turned things around from the floor in the second half.
The Lady Vikings shot over 55-percent from the field after halftime, scoring the opening four points of the half to get to back within two possessions. Baker proved to be too strong though, quickly countering and pushing the lead to double-digits with 16- minutes remaining in the game. The Lady Vikings got back to within seven points after two Senior Forward Gabi Morales free throws with just under 13-minutes in the game, but that would be as close as the Lady Vikings would get from that point, as Baker kept a comfortable lead, winning 77-62.
Leading the way for MVC was Morales who had 20 points, eight rebounds, and two blocked shots. Also in double-figures for the Lady Vikings was Junior Forward Ebone Brown who had 10 points and four rebounds. The Lady Vikings shot a better percentage from the field than Baker, 41 percent to 39-percent, and the Lady Viking defense forced 15 turnovers.
The loss drops MVC to 3-6 overall and 1-1 in conference play. Baker improves to 8-3 on the season and 2-0 in HAAC play. It's back to non-conference action for the Lady Vikings as they travel to Stephens College in Columbia on Monday with a 7 p.m. tip-off.
On the men's side, the Vikings went back-and-forth with Baker through the first half, making it just a three-point Baker lead with just under eight minutes remaining in the half after a made three-pointer by Freshman Jordan Epps. Baker then went on a 13-2 run over the next three minutes to extend what was a three-point lead to a 14-point advantage. The Vikings tried to get themselves back to single-digits before halftime, but Baker eventually took a 41-25 lead into the break.
In the second half the two teams traded buckets early on, but Baker eventually built its lead to over 20-points. However, MVC came back with a run of its own midway through the second half. The Vikings went on a 20-3 run over a seven minute stretch to get back to within single-digits after Junior Jim Thomas drained a two-pointer. The Vikings eventually got to within seven points with just over four minutes remaining in the game, but Baker made the shots they needed to down the stretch, and pulled out the 74-61 victory.
Epps led all scorers in the game with 28 points to go along with five assists and three rebounds. Also in double-figures for MVC Sophomore Kevin Stander who had 14 points. Defensively the Vikings got after Baker forcing 21 turnovers with two blocked shots. The Vikings also beat Baker on the offensive glass, producing 11 offensive rebounds, while Baker ended up with just four offensive rebounds. The biggest difference in the game was free-throws. The Vikings went 9 of 13 from the free-throw line, while Baker finished 18 of 30.
The loss drops MVC to 3-9 overall and 0-2 in the HAAC. Baker improves to 7-4 on the season and 1-1 in conference play. The Vikings have a non-conference home game Monday, hosting Haskell Indian Nations at 7 p.m. at the Burns Athletic Complex.