MVC Men's and Women's Basketball Hosts Friends in a Doubleheader Tuesday

Posted December 31, 2013

 Media Relations Contact:

Andy Pulverenti, sports information director, (660) 831-4230,



 Marshall, Mo. (December 31, 2013)- The Missouri Valley College men’s and women’s basketball teams welcomed in Friends (Kan.) University for a non-conference doubleheader Tuesday afternoon at the Burns Athletic Complex. The MVC women’s team mounted a comeback that fell just short in a 54-49 defeat, while the men’s team lost its matchup with Friends 83-62.


The MVC women’s team got off to a slow start, as the team missed its first eight shots in the game, and fell behind by a 14-0 score in the game’s first seven minutes. MVC eventually battled back, and followed things up with a 10-3 run midway through the first half that sliced the Friends lead to just 17-10 when Junior Guard TaLaya Earls (Indianapolis, Ind.) connected on two free throws. The two teams traded baskets over the next four minutes, but MVC was able to get to within six points at 23-17 following two more free throws by Earls. However, Friends ended the half outscoring MVC 13-4 and led 36-21 at the halftime break. The Vikings forced Friends into seven turnovers and also outrebounded Friends by a 24-21 margin.


Both teams came out and traded baskets in the early minutes of the second half, as Friends maintained at least an 11-point lead through the mid-point of the second half. However, MVC put together a run that brought them back to within single digits. An 11-2 run over a nearly six minute stretch in the second half cut the Friends lead to 48-42 when Senior Forward Gabi Morales (Bakersfield, Calif.) hit a free throw. Friends quickly pushed its lead back to ten points at 52-42, but MVC responded and scored seven straight points to make it a 52-49 score, the closest MVC had been in the game since the first minutes of the first half. Friends missed five straight free throws late in the second half, but MVC could get no closer than the three point deficit, and eventually fell to Friends by a 54-49 score.


MVC was led by Earls who finished with 17 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots. Earls collected her third double-double of the season, and the 16 rebounds are a career-high. Morales finished with her fourth double-double of the season with 15 points, 14 rebounds and two steals. Also in double-figures was Senior Forward Gabby Lovelace (Pleasant Hill, Mo.) who finished with 11 points and five rebounds. The Vikings went 29 of 37 from the free throw line in the game, and edged Friends in rebounding by a 54-41 margin while also forcing 20 turnovers.


The loss drops MVC to 8-5 overall, while Friends improves to 12-4 on the season.


Next for the women’s basketball team is a pair of games in Hillsboro, Kan., Friday and Saturday. The team will play Tabor College Friday at 6:00 p.m., and will match up with Sterling College Saturday at 2:00 p.m.


The Vikings got into an early 8-0 hole to start the men’s game, but were able to dig themselves out of the early deficit. After giving up the first eight points, the Vikings went on an 8-2 run of their own, to get to within a 10-8 score thanks to a Junior Brad Hamilton (Pittsfield, Ill.) jumper with just under 16-minutes to play in the first half. Friends was able to maintain a slim lead through much of the first half, and eventually extended its advantage to eight points at 22-14 with just over nine minutes remaining in the half. The Vikings fought back again, this time using an 8-0 run over a three minute stretch to tie the game at 22-22 after Hamilton made two free throws. Friends again pushed its lead back, this time to nine points at 31-22 at the five minute mark, and eventually took a 40-29 lead into the halftime break. The Vikings forced nine turnovers in the first half, and shot 44-percent from the field, along with hitting 6 of 8 free throws.


The second half started with Friends getting its largest lead of the game at 12 points just seconds after play resumed. Friends eventually stretched its lead to 57-41 with just over 11-minutes remaining in the game, but MVC again responded with another run. The Vikings chipped away at their deficit with a 7-0 run over a two-minute span that was capped off with Junior James Lane (Cape Girardeau, Mo.) scoring two of his eight points from the free throw line to make it a 57-48 game. That’s as close as the Vikings would get, as Friends was able to maintain a double-digit lead through the remainder of the second half. Friends got its first 20-point lead at 76-56 with just over two minutes remaining in the game, and defeated the Vikings 83-62.


Leading the way for MVC was Hamilton who finished with 20 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Also in double-figures was Senior Jim Thomas (St. Louis, Mo.) who scored 12 points. The Vikings forced Friends into 16 turnovers which resulted in 13 points for MVC. The Vikings also finished the game 17 of 23 from the free throw line.


The loss drops the Vikings to 8-6 on the season, while Friends improves to 11-2 and picks up its second win of the season over MVC. Friends defeated the Vikings 92-51 back on Nov. 16.


Up next, the Viking men’s team will play on the road at Avila University in Kansas City, Mo. in a Heart of America Athletic Conference matchup Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m.



About Missouri Valley College

Known for its dynamic, richly diverse, and friendly educational environment, Missouri Valley College offers many opportunities to grow in mind, body, and spirit. Grounded in the liberal arts, undergraduate studies empower students to master interdisciplinary skills needed to succeed in a knowledge-based global society. MVC offers over 40 academic programs, study abroad program, honors program, extracurricular activities, and 13 sports. The most popular majors include education and business, and some new majors are ag-business, nursing, graphic design, and health information systems (associate degree). Above all, Valley is committed to student success. For more information, call (660) 831-4000 or visit

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