Vikings end 10-game slump
The Missouri Valley College men's basketball team shot itself out of a 10-game losing streak Monday with a 78-66 Heart of America Conference victory over visiting Lindenwood.
The Vikings had five players score in double figures and made 56.4 percent of their field-goal attempts, while also converting 14 of 25 from the free-throw line -- including eight of 15 during the second half, while the Lions went to the charity stripe just once and missed.
Valley's bench played a key role in the win, with junior Darin Rehkop -- a 6-foot-7 forward from Santa Fe -- producing a game-high 14 points and eight rebounds. Senior Andy Routh added seven points and came up with three steals and drew a charge in a reserve role.
Lindenwood (4-14, 1-8 HAAC) shot 43.5 percent from the floor, going 12 of 31 during a first half which saw it fall behind by seven points. Junior Ross Conner topped the Lions with 11 points, six boards and four assists.
Senior Sam McIntyre had 12 points for the Vikings, which also garnered 11 points from sophomore Chris Schulze and 10 points each from senior Josh Cohen and junior Jared Sanderson. Valley (5-16, 2-7) only sank two of 12 tries from outside the arc, but achieved 67.4-percent efficiency from closer range.
While the prospects improved for the MVC men, the winless Lady Vikings continued to sink -- now without their leading scorer, senior Dana Earls, booted from the team for disciplinary reasons following Saturday's loss at Evangel.
Even without Earls, Valley gave the Lady Lions a strong push during a 74-67 loss -- its highest points total in 15 games. The Lady Vikings trailed by just two points at halftime, but shot just 29.0 percent from the field during the second half and saw Lindenwood make more free throws (17) than they attempted (14) -- a season-long pattern for MVC.
Junior Sara Tucker scored 21 points, grabbed six rebounds and came up with four steals and junior Angie Stith dished out seven assists for the Lady Lions (5-12, 2-7).
In her first career start, sophomore Maricris Sierra produced 16 points for Valley (0-20, 0-9), with juniors Kimberly Nelson and Jessica Senter combining for 23 points and 21 rebounds -- including a season-high 15 for Senter, who also had eight assists.
The Vikings close out the first half of the league schedule Thursday with a twinbill at Graceland.