MVC Basketball Splits Doubleheader at Benedictine

Posted January 18, 2014

Media Relations Contact:

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




Marshall, Mo. (January 18, 2014)- The Missouri Valley College men’s and women’s basketball teams traveled to Atchison, Kan., for a doubleheader with Benedictine College. The MVC women pulled off the upset as they defeated the No. 23 Ravens 65-59. The men’s team hung close with No. 15 Benedictine, but fell 81-70.


The Viking women’s basketball team got into an early hole, as Benedictine scored 11 of the game’s first 15 points to put MVC in an 11-4 deficit with just under four minutes played in the first half. MVC eventually got to within three points at 11-8 when Sophomore Guard Rayna Smith made a two-point field goal with 15-minutes to play in the half. Benedictine responded and outscored MVC by a 10-3 margin over the next six minutes to gain a ten point advantage at 21-11. The Ravens eventually grew their lead to 13 points late in the first half, before eventually going into the halftime break with a 32-21 lead as Sophomore Guard Julia Vasquez (Earth, Texas) scored two of her three points on a made basket just before the buzzer.


Benedictine had the upper hand early in the second half, as the Ravens eventually led by a 39-25 score, its largest lead of the game to that point, with a little more than 16 minutes to play in the game. Eventually, the Ravens held a 44-29 lead over MVC with 14:30 left to play, but that’s when things turned for the Vikings. MVC went on a 14-0 run over the next six minutes and got back to within one point at 44-43 after another Smith field goal. Benedictine responded and held onto the lead, but the Vikings eventually tied the game up for the first time when Junior Guard TaLaya Earls (Indianapolis, Ind.) scored two points off a turnover to make it at 49-49 game with six minutes to play. MVC’s first lead came just over a minute later when Senior Forward Gabi Morales (Bakersfield, Calif.) scored on a two-point field goal to put MVC on top 51-50. MVC eventually expanded its lead to 57-52 after two made free throws by Senior Forward Gabby Lovelace (Pleasant Hill, Mo.) with two minutes left in regulation. Benedictine eventually got to within two points at 60-58 with under one minute to play, but the Vikings finished hitting five of six free throws in the final 40-seconds to pull off the upset 65-59. The Vikings outscored Benedictine in the second half 44-27.


The Vikings were led by Morales who recorded her eighth double-double of the season. Morales scored 16 points and collected 13 rebounds. Also in double-figures for MVC was Earls who finished with 18 points and nine rebounds, while Smith added 12 points. The Vikings limited Benedictine to just 34-percent shooting and caused created 21 Benedictine turnovers. The Vikings finished with five blocks in the game, and narrowly won the rebounding margin 42-41. This is the third victory over a Nationally ranked NAIA opponent this year, having previously defeated College of the Ozarks and St. Ambrose University back in November.


The win improves MVC to 12-7 overall and 4-3 in HAAC play. Benedictine falls to 12-7 and 4-3 also, and MVC sits in a three-way tie with Benedictine and Graceland University for third in the conference.


The MVC women’s team will next play a non-conference match with NCAA Division II Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Mo. Game time is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.


The Viking men’s basketball team got out to an early lead against the Ravens, but a 4-3 score with just over 16 minutes to play in the first half. Benedictine was able to pull ahead, and put MVC into a 9-4 deficit with a little more than 13 minutes left in the first half, but the Vikings responded with a run to retake the lead. A 14-4 run over a four minute span midway through the first half gave MVC an 18-13 lead after Senior Jim Thomas (St. Louis, Mo.) connected on a three-point field goal. The Ravens followed up the MVC run with one of their own, outscoring the Vikings by a 12-2 margin that gave Benedictine a 25-20 lead with a little more than six minutes to play in the first half. The Ravens maintained the lead through the remainder of the first half, leading by as many as 11 points, before eventually going into halftime with a 40-30 advantage over the Vikings.


MVC was unable to get back into the contest early in the second half, as Benedictine maintained at least an eight point lead through the first seven minutes of the half. However, MVC was able to chip away at the Raven advantage, and eventually pulled to within one point at 55-54 midway through the half after a Freshman Jacob Fletcher (Springfield, Mo.) free throw. MVC was able to tie the game minutes later after Junior Brad Hamilton (Pittsfield, Ill.) was fouled on a three-point attempt, and made all three free throws, making it at 61-61 game with just under seven minutes to play. However, the Vikings were never able to retake the lead. Benedictine hit a free throw on its next possession, and held off a late Viking rally, eventually pulling away in the final minute. The Vikings fell to Benedictine 81-70.


Leading the way for MVC was Hamilton and Sophomore Raviel Burton (St. Johns, Antigua) who both scored 17 points. Also in double-figures were Thomas with 12 points and Junior James Lane (Cape Girardeau, Mo.) who finished with 12 points. The Vikings shot nearly 47-percent from the floor, while creating 12 turnovers with three blocked shots.


The Vikings fall to 10-8 overall and 3-4 in HAAC play. Benedictine improves to 13-4 on the season and 6-1 in the conference.


Up next for the MVC men’s team is a home matchup with No. 5 Evangel University Thursday at the Burns Athletic Complex. Men’s tip off is scheduled for 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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