MVC Viking Basketball Swept on the Road at MidAmerica Nazarene

Posted February 8, 2014

 Media Relations Contact:

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




Marshall, Mo. (February 8, 2014)- The Missouri Valley College men’s and women’s basketball teams traveled to Olathe, Kan., Saturday for a Heart of America Athletic Conference matchup with MidAmerica Nazarene University. The MVC women’s team led at halftime, but fell to No. 7 MNU 76-70. The men’s team played close with the Pioneers, but fell late 95-86.


The Vikings were in an early hole against MNU, as the Pioneers scored eight of the first 10 points. MVC responded with a 9-2 run to grab its first lead of the game at 11-10 when Senior Forward Gabi Morales (Bakersfield, Calif.) scored two of her nine points at the 15-minute mark. MidAmerica quickly got the lead back, and built up another six point advantage at 23-17 midway through the half. The Vikings got back to within one point multiple times, but could not reclaim the lead. MNU eventually built up its largest lead of the half at 38-31 with three minutes to play before halftime, but the Vikings put together a run to end the half. MVC scored 11 of the final 13 points in the half, and two Senior Forward Gabby Lovelace (Pleasant Hill, Mo.) free throws gave the Vikings a 42-40 lead at halftime. The Vikings limited MNU to just 34-percent shooting in the first half, and forced the Pioneers into eight turnovers.


The Viking lead at halftime was quickly erased as MNU scored the first five points after the break to hold a 45-42 lead. The Vikings eventually tied the game at 47-47 when Sophomore Guard Rayna Smith (St. Louis, Mo.) scored two of her four points with 16 minutes left in the game. From there, MNU put together a run that put MVC into its deepest deficit. The Pioneers went on an 18-2 run over the next seven minutes to hold a 65-49 lead. MNU held a double-digit lead over MVC until Morales sank a three-point field goal with three minutes to play to cut the Pioneer lead to 73-64. The Vikings were able to cut deeper into the MNU lead at 73-68 when Junior Guard DJ Jenkins (Fresno, Calif.) hit two free throws with just under two minutes to play. However, MNU was able to hold off the late Viking challenge, and MVC fell 76-70.


Leading the way for MVC was Jenkins who scored a season-high 15 points with four assists. Junior Guard TaLaya Earls (Indianapolis, Ind.) finished with 12 points, while Junior Guard Paris Johnson (Kansas City, Kan.) scored 12 points off the bench.


MVC falls to 14-10 overall and 6-6 in HAAC play while MNU improves to 18-3 on the season and 10-2 in conference action.


MVC found themselves in an early deficit as the Pioneers worked quickly to score 10 of the game’s first 14 points to hold a 10-4 lead at the 17:30 mark. MNU maintained a lead over MVC through the midway point of the first half, leading by as many as nine points multiple times over the stretch of play. MNU’s first double-digit lead came at 28-17 with just over nine minutes to play in the half. The Vikings closed the gap to just five points at 33-28 when Junior James Lane (Cape Girardeau, Mo.) hit a three-point field goal with six minutes remaining in the half. The Vikings failed to get any closer through the remainder of the first half, as the Pioneers again led by as many as 11 points, but Senior Jim Thomas (St. Louis, Mo.) scored the final four points before halftime, making it a 49-42 MNU lead at the break. The Vikings shot over 47-percent in the half and forced six MNU turnovers.


The Vikings started the second half strong, slowly chipping away at the MNU lead. The Vikings got to within one point at 53-52 after a Junior Brad Hamilton (Pittsfield, Ill.) hit a free throw three minutes into the half. The Vikings eventually got their first lead of the game a little more than one minute later at 56-55 after a Thomas field goal. MNU responded the brief MVC lead and went on a 17-4 run over the next five minutes and built its largest lead of the game at 72-60. MNU eventually lead by 13 points at the nine minute mark, and led by an 80-69 score with seven minutes to play in the game. The Vikings were able to put together a 12-4 run over the next three minutes to climb back to an 84-81 deficit after Hamilton sank a three-point attempt. However, that’s as close as MVC would get, with MNU outscoring the Vikings 11-6 over the final four minutes. The Vikings fell 95-86.


The Vikings were led by Thomas who scored a career-high 23 points with five assists and two steals. Lane finished with 16 points and eight rebounds while Junior Andre Scott (San Antonio, Texas) scored 15 points with seven assists. Also in double-figures were Sophomore Raviel Burton (St. Johns, Antigua) who finished with 13 points and seven rebounds and Hamilton who had 10 points.


The loss drops MVC to 12-11 overall and 5-7 in HAAC play. MNU improves to 15-9 and 7-5.


The MVC basketball teams return home Thursday for a HAAC doubleheader with Avila University. The women’s game tips off at 5:30 p.m., the men’s game has a 7:30 p.m. start time.



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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