DES MOINES -- The Missouri Valley College women's basketball team's fate turned different directions during second halves over the weekend at the Grand View Classic in Des Moines.
Valley came from eight points down in Friday's season debut to beat the host Lady Vikings, 69-53, but then blew a 15-point lead over the final eight minutes Saturday to fall to Mount Mercy (Iowa), 63-62.
Senior Angie Creighton scored 13 of her game-high 20 points to push Grand View (0-1) to a 36-28 advantage two minutes into the second half, but the visiting Lady Vikings went on a 28-5 tear over the next 11 minutes.
Sophomore Jordanne Walker's three-pointer pulled Valley to within a point, taking the lead when junior Imogene Dooley went coast-to-coast with a defensive rebound.
A Dooley steal began a fast break finished by senior Theresa Gittens, who then hit from outside and drove to the rack.
Sophomore Jessica Francka sank two free throws and a jumper, as did junior Holly Siverling. A Dooley bucket and Gittens' lay-up extended the margin to 16 points with 4:51 left and the Lady Vikings were able to coast to the win.
Francka finished with 15 points to lead five Lady Vikings in double figures, with Siverling adding 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Scoring 20 of her 25 points in the first 22 minutes, Francka staked Valley to a seven-point lead against the Lady Mustangs. Then senior Bonnie Johnson, who sat out the opener, went to work -- scoring the Lady Vikings' next 12 points to give them a 53-38 cushion with 10:06 left.
The spread was still 15 points two minutes later, but then Valley missed four of six shots and turned the ball over on three straight possessions. Mount Mercy (1-1) fired from perimeter, making five treys over a four-minute span -- three by junior Jessie Dirks. A stick-back by senior Addie McCreedy off a missed bomb tied the game at 61-all with 54 seconds remaining.
Gittens made one of two from the charity stripe, but McCreedy sank two with 11 seconds to go. Francka couldn't connect, but the Lady Vikings got the ball back with only a one-point deficit -- only to have Johnson, a 62.6-percent free-throw shooter last year, go 0 for 2 from the line with five seconds left.
Dirks finished with 30 points for the Lady Mustangs (1-1).
Johnson matched Francka with 25 points and pulled down 12 boards.
Valley (1-1) will be in St. Paul, Minn., this weekend two play two exhibition games at the Concordia Tournament.