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Monday, May 2, 2016

No. 4 Evangel pulls out 2OT thriller against Vikings

Monday, February 18, 2008

SPRINGFIELD -- The Missouri Valley College men's basketball team might have knocked off fourth-ranked Evangel in regulation play Saturday, if not for a changed call by the officials.

Instead, the Vikings suffered a 105-104 double-overtime loss at Springfield to the Heart of America Conference leaders.

The Crusaders held a 16-point lead three-and-a-half minutes into the second half when Valley began its comeback bid with a long-range shot from senior Jelani Hicks.

On the court, it was ruled a three-pointer -- but a review of game tape showed Hicks to be well inside the arc and it was changed to a two-point goal.

It didn't seem to matter much at the time, or even a little while as Evangel held a 72-60 lead with 6:33 remaining.

However, the Vikings reeled off 15 straight points to pull ahead with 2:12 left. Valley had a chance to win in regulation, but missed two free throws -- junior Jackson Capel tying the game with a 25-foot buzzer-beating heave.

Eventually, with two MVC starters fouling out, the Crusaders survived the war of attrition.

After the Vikings missed a point-blank shot on a breakaway which would have given them a four-point lead in the closing seconds of the second OT period, Capel drained another three from the corner while falling out of bounds as time expired.

Capel scored 33 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead Evangel (22-5, 15-2 HAAC).

Junior Craig Jones had a career-high 29 points, junior Brandon Toliver logged 19 points and 15 rebounds, and senior Boman Mullings added 18 points for the Vikings (8-21, 8-10) -- who have dropped four of their last five games, including another one-point loss a week earlier at Avila.

The Evangel women needed no such late-game heroics, although it was they who trailed at halftime before rallying for a 67-60 victory.

Valley shot 68.4 percent from the field during the first half to take a six-point lead into the break, but the Lady Crusaders came out of intermission with a 14-2 run and sank 11 of 13 free throws during the second half to seal the win.

Freshman Ashlee Luko made 12 of 14 freebies to lead Evangel (11-14, 8-9) with 18 points.

Senior Bonnie Johnson and sophomore Jessica Francka from nearby Bolivar each scored 12 points for the Lady Vikings (13-13, 9-9).

The Valley teams have two games left in the regular season, the next being Thursday at Baker.

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