MVC Basketball Teams Knocked Off on the Road
MARSHALL, MO - The Missouri Valley College men's and women's basketball played their second straight road game Thursday night in Springfield, Missouri taking on Evangel University. The Lady Vikings hung tough with Evangel but fell late 68-54, and the men's team was defeated 68-44.
In the first game of the night, the Lady Vikings found themselves down in an early hole, trailing by as many as seven points in the opening minutes of the game. Evangel eventually stretched the lead to 16-7 at the 13:30 mark before MVC put together a run. The Vikings put together an 11-2 run over the next eight minutes, and tied the game up at 18-18 when Sophomore Guard Gabby Lovelace scored three of her nine points. Evangel responded and countered by outscoring the Lady Vikings over the final five minutes of the first half 16-6, and take a 34-24 lead into the halftime break. The Lady Vikings forced Evangel into 11 turnovers, and MVC finished the half shooting nearly 41-percent.
To begin the second half, both teams traded baskets early on, and the Lady Vikings were able to cut the lead to single digits at 41-32 on a Junior Forward Gabi Morales made field goal with 16:43 remaining in the game. The Lady Crusaders eventually built their lead back up to 13-points midway through the half, but the Lady Vikings had another run in them. An 8-0 run by MVC was capped off by a Senior Center Cara Clark to draw the Lady Vikings closer at 47-42. The Lady Vikings never got closer than five points, and Evangel pulled away in the final minutes of the game for the 68-54 victory.
Leading the way for MVC was Morales who finished with 14 points and six rebounds. Clark added 13 points and five rebounds. The Lady Vikings forced 18 Evangel turnovers, and MVC pulled down 11 offensive rebounds.
The loss drops MVC to 6-19 overall and 3-10 in Heart of America Athletic Conference play. Evangel improves to 5-13 on the season and 4-8 in conference play.
The men's team took on No. 17 Evangel in the second game of the doubleheader. Like the Lady Vikings, the men's team found themselves in an early hole, trailing by six points within the game's first three minutes at 10-4. The Vikings were able to find their groove over the next six minutes turning the six point deficit to a one point lead thanks to a 9-2 run. The Vikings grabbed their first lead of the game after Junior Kendall Hays scored two of his eight points. The Vikings eventually got to their largest lead of the half at 20-18 with only minutes remaining in the half, but Evangel finished strong taking a 32-27 lead into the break. The Vikings shot 37-percent in the first half, and forced seven Evangel turnovers.
The two teams traded baskets early on in the second half, with MVC getting to within three points of Evangel at 38-35 at the 15:30 mark when Freshman Jordan Epps hit two free throws. Evangel took control of things from there, putting MVC into a double-digit deficit less than three minutes later. Evangel outscored the Vikings by a 23-5 margin through the middle part of the second half, and went on to take the game with a 68-44 final score.
Leading the way for MVC was Junior Law Brown who had 11 points and five rebounds. The Vikings forced 13 Evangel turnovers, and came up with five steals and five blocked shots.
The loss drops MVC to 8-16 overall and 4-9 in the HAAC. Evangel improves to 18-5 on the season and 11-2 in conference play, putting the Crusaders atop the HAAC standings.
Up next for MVC is a home doubleheader Saturday afternoon against Peru State College. Peru won the women's matchup 65-53, and Peru won the men's matchup 86-79 back on Jan. 5. Women's game is set for 2 p.m. and the men's game is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday at the Burns Athletic Complex.