Vikings close regular season with pair of wins

Monday, February 21, 2005
Senior Tiffani Schreiber (32) set the team's season high with 24 points as the Lady Vikings won their fourth in a row.

KANSAS CITY -- With senior guard Chris Ealim out with a broken leg, the Missouri Valley College men's basketball team needed to make up 13.6 points per game.

Gary Morrow was up to the task.

The senior point guard out of Parkway West in St. Louis County -- normally not a big scoring threat -- answered the call with 15 points Saturday during the Vikings' 68-55 victory at Avila, boosting them to seventh place in the final Heart of America Conference standings. Morrow's shooting -- six of seven from the field, including three of four from three-point range -- didn't detract from his more typical totals: six assists and five steals, with only one turnover.

Valley used defense to win its final regular season contest, forcing 20 turnovers -- 15 on steals -- and controlling the boards by a 45-30 margin. The Vikings shot 45.7 percent from the field during the first half, pushing them to a 17-point lead at the break -- enough to hold when they cooled off, making only a third of their second-half attempts from the floor.

Senior Jason Lewis tallied 22 points for the Eagles (10-22, 6-15 HAAC), who missed 16 of 22 three-point tries.

Senior Ramone Powell had 15 points and senior Mike Atkinson contributed 13 points, eight rebounds and three steals for Valley (17-15, 9-11) -- which opens play in the HAAC Tournament Thursday at No. 20 MidAmerica Nazarene.

The Lady Vikings had already qualified for the tourney by virtue of Thursday's three-point decision over Central Methodist, and beating Avila, 66-65, couldn't move them up from the No. 8 seed.

Valley shot 45.3 percent from the floor -- their best performance in 14 games, despite making only two of 11 from beyond the arc -- got 26 takeaways for 22 points and sank 10 of 15 free throws during the second half to preserve the victory.

The Lady Eagles (11-22, 4-17) were topped by senior Kayla Thomas' 15 points, nine boards and three blocked shots.

Senior guard Tiffani Schreiber scored 24 points -- the highest individual point total of the season for the Lady Vikings -- and came up with four steals. Freshman Theresa Gittens added 12 points and senior Heather Davis dished out six assists.

Valley (11-20, 6-14) will take a trip to Springfield to challenge seventh-ranked Evangel in Wednesday's tourney opener.

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