MVC Women's Basketball Wins Tournament Game Over Benedictine

Posted March 6, 2014

Media Relations Contact:

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




Marshall, Mo. (March 6, 2014)- The Missouri Valley College women’s basketball team won its first Heart of America Athletic Conference Postseason Tournament game since 2008 with a 77-71 victory Thursday evening at Benedictine College. The Vikings entered the game as the No. 5 seed in the tournament, with Benedictine the No. 4 seed.


The two teams opened the game trading baskets with neither team able to build more than a three point lead through the first eight minutes of the game. MVC led Benedictine 9-7 after a Sophomore Guard Rayna Smith (St. Louis, Mo.), but the Ravens put together a run to grab the lead. Benedictine outscored the Vikings 9-0 over the next three minutes to move ahead 16-9. The Ravens maintained a seven point advantage at 21-14 with five minutes before halftime. MVC got back to within two points at 21-19 just moments later after a Senior Forward Gabi Morales (Bakersfield, Calif.) field goal. However, Benedictine scored nine of the final 15 points of the half and went into the break with a 30-25 lead over the Vikings. MVC limited the Ravens to just 26-percent shooting in the first half while winning the rebounding battle by a 27-21 margin.


The Vikings began the second half with a quick burst that turned the five point deficit into a 33-30 lead at the 18-minute mark following another Morales field goal. Benedictine responded with a run of their own, outscoring MVC with a 14-3 run over the next five minutes to take a 44-36 lead. The Ravens lead stretched to 47-38 with just under 12-minutes remaining in regulation. The Vikings began to chip away at the deficit, and eventually worked back to tie the game at 52-52 after Senior Guard Regine Mecenario (Delano, Calif.) hit a three-point field goal. MVC reclaimed the led moments later when Sophomore Guard Julia Vasquez (Earth, Texas) hit a free throw to put MVC up 53-42 with just over six minutes to play. Benedictine briefly tied the game at 62-62 with 2:30 to play in the game, but the Ravens were never able to retake the lead. MVC was able to hold off any late Benedictine comeback attempt by going 11 of 14 from the free throw line in the final two minutes to pull away for a 77-71 victory.


Leading MVC was Morales who finished with 19 points and nine rebounds. Junior Guard TaLaya Earls (Indianapolis, Ind.) finished with 11 points and five rebounds, while Smith came off the bench to score 10 points. MVC went 31 of 46 from the free throw line and outrebounded Benedictine 50 to 38. Benedictine was limited to just 31-percent shooting and committed 17 turnovers.


The win moves MVC to 19-12 overall, while Benedictine’s season comes to an end at 20-11. This was MVC’s first HAAC Tournament victory since defeating William Jewell on 74-64 in 2008.


The Vikings will play in the tournament semifinals Saturday traveling to No. 13 Baker University in a game that tip-off at 7 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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