MVC Basketball Teams Fall on the Road
MARSHALL, MO -- The Missouri Valley College men's and women's basketball went on the road Saturday afternoon to take on MidAmerica Nazarene University in a Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader. The Lady Vikings were defeated 62-45. The men's team was able to go toe-to-toe with the No. 22 Pioneers, before falling late 78-77.
The Lady Vikings found themselves in an early hole against No. 9 MidAmerica Nazarene University. MNU scored 13 of the game's first 15 points. The Lady Vikings were able to put a small run of their own together midway through the first half, scoring six straight points capped off by Sophomre Forward Samantha Kixmiller scoring a field goal at the seven minute mark to make it a 19-9 MNU lead. The two teams traded baskets through the rest of the first half, as the Lady Pioneers led at the halftime break by a 30-18 score.
The second half started in the same way as the first half, with MNU scoring 10 of the first 13 points in the half to stretch what was a 12-point lead at halftime to a 17-point lead at the 16:18 mark. The Lady Vikings responded by scoring five straight points to pull to within 38-26 with less than 15 minutes remaining in the game. The 12-point deficit would be as close as the Lady Vikings would get, as MNU held off MVC through the rest of the second half. MVC fell to the No. 9 Lady Pioneers 62-45.
Leading the way for MVC was Kixmiller with 11 points and four rebounds. Also in double-figures was Senior Guard Lindsi Jackson who finished with 10 points, on a perfect shooting night from the field, and eight rebounds. The Lady Viking bench accounted for 31 of the team's points. The Lady Viking defense limited MNU to just over 28-percent shooting, and forced MNU to turn the ball over 16 times.
With the loss MVC falls to 7-21 overall and 4-12 in HAAC play. MNU improves to 25-2 overall and continues to sit atop the HAAC with a 15-1 mark.
In the men's game, the Vikings and Pioneers played another slug-fest that went down to the last seconds. MVC found themselves down by a 9-4 deficit early in the first half, but were able to string a run together and take the lead for the first time at 11-10 at the 12:30 mark with a Freshman Jordan Epps three-point field goal. The Pioneers came back and took control of things through the middle portion of the game and built up a 34-21 lead with less than six minutes remaining in the half. The Vikings came back and scored 18 of the last 25 points in the first half to make it just a 41-39 MNU lead at halftime.
In the second half, the Vikings started off strong and came back to take a 52-47 lead at the 16-minute mark. The Vikings would hold onto the lead through most of the second half, building up 12 point lead with eight minutes remaining. MNU came back and tied the game at 72-72 with just over three minutes remaining. The Vikings then found themselves down by four points with just one minute remaining, but an Epps three-pointer pulled MVC to within one point. MNU missed a field goal on the ensuing position setting MVC up for one last look at the basket. The Vikings got a shot off before the buzzer, but Senior Michael Connor's (Ft. Worth, Texas) shot was blocked and MNU held on for the 78-77 win.
Leading the way for MVC was Epps who had 29 points, five rebounds and five assists. Connor finished with 13 points and four rebounds.
The Vikings fall to 9-19 overall and 4-12 in HAAC play. MNU improves to 21-7 overall and 13-3 in conference play.
Next up for the MVC basketball teams is road doubleheader with Avila University Feb. 21. Women's game is set for 5:30 p.m. while the men's game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. In the first matchups of the season on Jan. 17 the Lady Vikings defeated Avila 55-51, while the men's team came up with a 64-50 victory.