Viking Men's Basketball Loses to MNU in HAAC TournamentPosted March 5, 2014
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MVC MEN’S BASKETBALL LOSES TO MNU IN HAAC TOURNAMENT
Marshall, Mo. (March 5, 2014)- The Missouri Valley College men’s basketball team saw its 2013-2014 season come to a close Wednesday evening in Olathe, Kan., losing to No. 25 MidAmerica Nazarene University in the first round of the Heart of America Athletic Conference Postseason Tournament by a final score of 87-80.
The Vikings entered the game as the No. 6 seed in the postseason tournament, with the Pioneers playing as the No. 3 seed. MNU opened the game quickly, jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the opening moments of the game, then extending its lead again to 13-5 within the first five minutes of the half. The Pioneers maintained a double-digit lead over MVC through much of the first half, leading by as many as 13 points at 27-14 with just under 12-minutes to play before halftime. However, at the midway point of the half, the Vikings were able to turn things around. Trailing by a 29-17 score with 10:30 to play in the half, MVC slowly chipped away the Pioneer lead. MVC cut it down to single-digits when Junior Guard Brad Hamilton (Pittsfield, Ill.) scored on a field goal with just under nine minutes before halftime to make it a 29-21 game. After MNU built its lead back to 37-25, the Vikings put together a 17-4 run over a three minute span late in the half to get back to within four points at 41-37 after two Hamilton free throws. The Pioneer lead vanished completely late in the first half, as Hamilton completed the Viking comeback, hitting a three-point field goal with seconds remaining before halftime to put MVC up at the break by a 45-44 score, the first Viking lead of the game. MVC finished the half strong, eventually shooting over 46-percent, while also forcing the Pioneers into 10 turnovers.
MVC maintained its lead through the early stages of the second half, leading by three points multiple times in the first minutes, including a 51-48 lead two minutes into the half after a Sophomore Center Raviel Burton (St. Johns, Antigua) field goal. MNU was able to reclaim the lead minutes later, going on a 9-2 run over a three minute span to jump ahead 57-53. MNU wasn’t able to put together much of a lead, as the Vikings stayed close, trailing by just a 60-57 score after a Senior Guard Jim Thomas (St. Louis, Mo.) field goal with just under 14-minutes to play in regulation. The teams traded buckets through the middle part of the second half, with MNU never leading by more than six points, but the Vikings never able to tie the game or reclaim the lead. The close game was eventually broken open, after a MNU expanded a 72-68 lead into an 80-73 advantage with just four minutes left in the game. The seven point deficit was as close as the Vikings got in the final minutes of the contest, as MNU hit four of six free throws down the stretch to hold off any Viking comeback attempt, eventually knocking off MVC 87-80.
The Vikings were led by Thomas who finished his career at MVC with 19 points on 8 of 16 shooting with seven assists. Sophomore Forward Jacob Powell (Marshfield, Mo.) added 16 points and seven rebounds for MVC off the bench, while current HAAC Newcomer of the Year Hamilton added 15 points. Burton finished the season with his seventh double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. The Vikings finished with 13 assists and just nine turnovers, but forced MNU into 14 turnovers. MVC scored 14 points off the Pioneer turnovers, and finished with 20 second-chance points.
The loss ends MVC’s season at 15-15 overall, while MidAmerica Nazarene improves to 21-10 with the win, advancing to the HAAC semifinals, which will be played Friday.
The MVC women’s team will be in action in the first round of the HAAC Postseason Tournament Thursday at 7 p.m., traveling to Benedictine College.
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 www.moval.edu.