For the second straight time, both the Missouri Valley College men's and women's basketball teams won Heart of America Conference games on the same day -- against the same opponent, although in different locations.
While the Lady Vikings beat Graceland, 69-61, in Lamoni, Iowa, on Saturday, the Valley men rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to pull out an 84-77 decision over the Yellowjackets.
A three-pointer by senior Tyson Meierotto capped Graceland's 20-11 first-half run, allowing it to go into intermission with a five-point lead. The Vikings gave up three second-chance buckets early in the second half, including back-to-back conversions by sophomore Aundrae Williams and Meierotto, to extend the margin to double digits.
However, down by a baker's dozen, Valley went on a 17-4 run -- getting two goals each from sophomore Rouven Haenig and seniors Boman Mullings and Jay Elam, who popped a three. A Haenig bomb gave the Vikings their first lead since midway through the opening period, and they didn't let go of it.
The Yellowjackets send Valley to the free-throw line down the stretch, and were made to pay for it. The Vikings sank 11 of 12 charity tosses during the closing minutes, including six in a row from senior Jelani Hicks, to seal the victory.
Meierotto and freshman Mike Malat each scored 16 points for Graceland (6-15, 3-9 HAAC). Mullings' 21 points and 11 rebounds led Valley (6-17, 6-6), which got 15 points each from Haenig and junior Craig Jones for its third straight win.
The Lady Vikings didn't have as high a hill to climb, trailing by only three points at the break. They had a slight advantage over Graceland in second-half shooting from the field, 32.1 to 28.0 percent, and a more substantial margin from the free-throw line -- getting 10 more attempts and eight more points.
Junior Katie Lemburg had 16 points off the bench for the Lady Yellowjackets (12-8, 6-6), who were beaten badly on the boards, 54-35.
Valley (9-10, 6-6) had four players score in double figures, led by 20 points from senior Nicole Allison. Seniors Bonnie Johnson and Holly Siverling combined for 29 points and 15 rebounds and senior Theresa Gittens had 10 points and four assists.
Both of the Viking squads will play Thursday, on the same court, when they host league rival Culver-Stockton.