NORTH NEWTON, Kan. -- Junior Michael Connor scored 41 points over the weekend as the Missouri Valley College men's basketball team took third place in the Bethel Classic at North Newton, Kan.
The Vikings opened Friday with a 59-53 loss to Friends (Kan.), a contest in which they trailed by only one point at halftime. The Falcons out-shot Valley 45.5 to 41.7 percent from the field during the second half and, just as critically, converted 10 of 14 attempts from the free-throw line.
Although the Vikings dominated the boards by a 36-16 margin, they were hurt by a minus-10 turnover ratio and a season-low two-of-15 production from three-point range.
Junior Joseph Wakefield led all scorers with 25 points for Friends (6-9).
Connor had 22 points, but eight turnovers, and junior James Pope contributed 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench for Valley.
The Vikings prospered in the second half of their third-place game Saturday against host Bethel, a 67-59 victory in which they committed only 11 turnovers.
Valley trailed by six points at halftime, but held the Threshers to 27.0-percent field-goal shooting after the break and feasted at the charity stripe -- sinking 20 of 26 attempts, a 13-point advantage over the home team.
Bethel (1-12) was paced by sophomore Lee Griffin's 18 points.
Connor had 19 points and senior Matt Baker, a 6-foot-7 forward who missed the first half of the season, posted a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Vikings.
Valley (5-8) will be on the road Thursday for a Heart of America Conference clash at No. 14 Evangel.