MVC Vikings Basketball Swept by Benedictine Sunday

Posted February 23, 2014

Media Relations Contact:

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




Marshall, Mo. (February 23, 2014)- The Missouri Valley College men’s and women’s basketball teams hosted Benedictine College in a Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader Sunday afternoon at the Burns Athletic Complex. The women’s team lost to the Ravens 65-58 while the men’s team battled with conference lead and No. 11 Benedictine but lost 56-50


The first half started slow for both teams, as the score was just 3-2 in favor of MVC after seven minutes of play. Benedictine was able to get some offensive momentum going through the middle portion of the half, outscoring MVC 14-2 over a six minute stretch to lead 16-4 with just under eight minutes remaining until halftime. Benedictine eventually led by 13-points at 21-18 with five minutes to play, before the Vikings got their offense going in the right direction. MVC finished the half scoring 13-straight points, thanks to nine points from Senior Forward Gabi Morales (Bakersfield, Calif.) during that stretch to pull even with Benedictine at 21-21, which was the halftime score. The Vikings limited Benedictine to just 25-percent shooting in the first half, and forced the Ravens into eight turnovers. The Vikings also won the rebounding battle in the half by a 29-21 margin.


The Vikings continued their hot streak to begin the second half, scoring six-straight points to lead 27-21 after Sophomore Guard Julia Vasquez (Earth, Texas) scored three of her six points. Benedictine responded with a run of its own, outscoring MVC 8-1 over a 2:30 stretch early in the half to grave a 29-28 lead. After MVC briefly retook the lead at 31-29 after a three-point field goal by Vasquez, Benedictine was able to slowly put MVC into a deficit. The Ravens eventually led by as many as eight points at 43-35 with 8:30 to play in the game. The Vikings were able to work back to a tie twice around the five minute mark, the second time at 48-48 when Junior TaLaya Earls (Indianapolis, Ind.) hit a free throw to give her four points in the game. However, Benedictine scored six consecutive points from that points, and eventually held off any MVC comeback attempt defeating the Vikings 65-58.


The Vikings were led by Morales who finished with her eleventh double-double scoring 16 points and grabbing 12 rebounds to go with three blocks. Also in double-digits was Junior Guard Paris Johnson (Kansas City, Kan.) with ten points off the bench. The Vikings limited Benedictine to just 33-percent shooting and outrebounded the Ravens 48-37.


The loss drops MVC to 17-11 overall and 9-7 in HAAC play. Benedictine, which is in the “others receiving votes” category of the latest NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, moves to 18-10 and 10-6 in the conference.


The MVC men’s team got out to an early lead in its game with the Ravens, leading by a 6-2 score less than four minutes into the game after Junior Guard Brad Hamilton (Pittsfield, Ill.) scored two of his six points. Benedictine battled back, scoring 10 of the next 12 points over a four minutes stretch and grabbed a 12-8 lead with 11-minutes remaining in the first half. The Vikings eventually worked back to tie the game at 15-15 after a Senior Guard Jim Thomas (St. Louis, Mo.) three-point field goal, then after falling behind by three points, the Vikings tied the game again at 18-18 with four minutes until halftime after Junior Forward Jonathan Bird (Farmington, Mo.) sank a free throw. However, the Vikings could not grab a lead late in the first half, and went into the halftime break trailing Benedictine by a 23-22 score. The Vikings forced Benedictine into eight turnovers and edged the Ravens in rebounding by a 20-19 margin, including nine offensive rebounds for MVC.


The Vikings started out quickly in the second half, scoring the first six points after the restart to take its largest lead at 29-23. The hot-streak was capped by two free throws from Sophomore Center Raviel Burton (St. Johns, Antigua) at the 17-minute mark. The Viking lead was eventually chipped away to 29-26 less than two minutes later, but MVC quickly extended its lead to 32-26 with a three-point field from Sophomore Forward Jacob Powell (Marshfield, Mo.), with five minutes gone in the half. After the Ravens got back to within three points at 34-31, the Vikings went on a small run, scoring six of the next seven points to extend its lead to 40-32 after Powell scored two more of his seven points at the midway point of the half. MVC maintained an advantage, still leading by eight points with just under eight minutes remaining in the game, before Benedictine put together a run. The Ravens quickly turned an eight point deficit into a two point lead with a 10-0 run on MVC over a two minute stretch late in the game to hold a 44-42 advantage. MVC was able to reclaim the lead with four minutes remaining when Junior Guard Andre Scott (San Antonio, Texas) scored one of his four points from the free throw line, however that was the last lead for the Vikings. Benedictine finished the game by scoring 14 of the final 20 points, to come away with a 56-50 victory over the Vikings.


MVC was led by Thomas who finished as the only Viking in double-figures with 11 points to go along with eight rebounds and two assists. The Vikings forced Benedictine into 14 turnovers, and our rebounded the Ravens by a 42-36 margin. MVC also limited Benedictine to just 30-percent on three-point attempts.


The loss drops MVC to 15-12 overall and 8-8 in HAAC play. Benedictine moves to 20-6 on the season and 13-3 in HAAC play.


The MVC basketball teams will play its final road regular season doubleheader of the season, traveling to Springfield, Mo., for a match up with Evangel University Thursday evening. Women’s game starts at 5:30 p.m., and the men’s game is scheduled to start 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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