Sophomore Rouven Haenig's bucket in the final minute proved to be decisive as the Missouri Valley College men's basketball team avenged an earlier loss to Heart of America Conference foe Central Methodist with a 60-58 decision Thursday in the Burns Athletic Center.
The Vikings scored the game's first eight points and held a 12-2 lead midway through a first half marked by erratic shooting -- neither team making over a third of its field-goal attempts, combining to go one of 18 from three-point range.
After the strong start, the Vikings managed only eight points the rest of the half and went into the locker room tied at 20.
Senior Brinton Devens' bomb early in the second half began a 12-2 surge for the Eagles, giving them a 10-point lead.
Valley charged back, getting deuces off the offensive glass from Haenig and freshman Francisco Sanchez, while junior Craig Jones converted a conventional three-point play and a lay-up. Two more goals by Sanchez helped the Vikings increase their lead to five points before Devens connected again from outside.
Sophomore Matt Sherman's perimeter jumper put Methodist ahead, but Haenig got loose inside for the go-ahead goal. Seniors Boman Mullings and Jelani Hicks each made one of two from the free-throw line down the stretch, but the Eagles could only manage a single charity shot by senior Sid Stanley -- missing their last three tries from the field.
Senior Anthony Love led all scorers with 20 points for Central Methodist (17-11, 12-6 HAAC).
Mullings had 15 points, Hicks and Jones added 11 each and junior Brandon Toliver contributed 11 rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots for Valley (8-20, 8-9) -- which snapped a three-game losing streak.
The Lady Vikings' victory over CMU was not nearly as dramatic, as the 93-54 final suggests.
When Valley went on a 20-4 tear early in the game, taking a 23-point lead into halftime, a blowout was imminent.
Senior Holly Wade scored 12 points for the Lady Eagles (4-23, 2-16) -- who shot only 30.9 percent from the field, surrendered 21 turnovers and were crushed on the boards by a 57-26 margin.
Senior Bonnie Johnson led Valley (13-12, 9-8) with 17 points and a career-high 21 rebounds, 11 offensive. Senior Nicole Allison had 15 points and eight boards and sophomore Jessica Francka added 10 points off the bench.
Both of the Viking squads will be in Springfield on Saturday to face Evangel.