Lindenwood ends Vikings' streak, season
ST. CHARLES -- The young Missouri Valley College men's basketball team late-season run came to a halt Monday during the play-in round of the Heart of America Conference Tournament.
The ninth-seeded Vikings couldn't keep pace with the hot hand of No. 8 Lindenwood during a 74-63 loss at St. Charles. The Lions shot 60.9 percent from the field during the second half to open up what had been a one-point contest at the break.
Although Valley also shot better during the second half, making 12 of 25 attempts, it only made two of seven tries from three-point range -- compared to Lindenwood's six of 10. The Lions also helped themselves from the free-throw line, sinking 11 of 14 chances after intermission.
Junior Dustin Roberts, after scoring a total of 17 points during the teams' two regular season meetings, had 19 points for LU. Junior Matt Brooks contributed 19 points and freshman Cedric Priso came up of steals on six of the Vikings' 19 turnovers.
Freshman Chris Schulze had 14 points and sophomore Josh Cohen contributed 11 points and nine rebounds for Valley. All-conference junior John Pace and sophomore Jared Sanderson -- the team's top perimeter shooters, both at over 35-percent efficiency -- combined for 18 points on four-of-14 shooting from beyond the arc.
Even though 6-foot-6 sophomore Darin Rehkop of Santa Fe -- who tallied 20 points during the Jan. 3 home game against the Lions -- was out the final two weeks with a broken jaw, Valley (10-23) finished the pre-tourney schedule with a season-high three straight victories.
Lindenwood (11-19) moves into the quarterfinal round for a Wednesday trip to top-ranked Evangel, which sustained its first loss of the season Monday during a non-conference tilt with College of the Ozarks, 84-76.