Vikings get big HAAC road win

Monday, February 23, 2009

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. -- With a 3-6 home record in Heart of America Conference play, the Missouri Valley College men's basketball team needs road wins in order to reach the league's post-season tournament.

The Vikings got that Saturday in convincing style, pounding Baker, 77-63, to sweep the season series.

The Wildcats jumped out to an 11-1 lead, and were still ahead by eight points midway through the first half, when Valley got five buckets -- two from three-point range -- from junior J.D. Devault to go on a 21-2 spree.

The Vikings took a six-point advantage into the second half, which senior Jelani Hicks began with a pair of bombs.

Junior Bryant Porter scored and Hicks connected from outside again to extend Valley's cushion to 42-27, and the margin never dropped below 13 points again.

Junior Malcolm Greer's 16 points was high for Baker (8-20, 6-12 HAAC), which is still among the handful of teams scrambling for a tourney berth -- but now trails the Vikings in the tiebreaker system.

Hicks and junior Rouven Haenig each had 16 points and Devault added 15 off the bench for Valley (11-15, 6-12) -- posting its third straight game in which it tallied double digits in three-point shooting, making 10 of 23 attempts.

While the Valley men are experiencing a late-season surge, the Lady Vikings appear to be merely playing out the string, already eliminated from any post-season action.

As was the case in the men's game, Baker broke out to an 11-1 lead. Unlike the nightcap, though, the visitors had no sustained rally in them -- trailing by 18 points at halftime and unable to get closer than 13 points after the break during a 91-74 loss.

The Lady Wildcats (14-14, 8-10) got 23 points from senior Lauren Shufelberger and 17 points and nine rebounds from sophomore Aubree Gustin.

Senior Ashley Sequeira's 14 points topped Valley (4-25, 2-16), which has lost nine in a row.

The Vikings will begin the final week of the regular season Thursday at Graceland.

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