OLATHE, Kan. -- The Missouri Valley College men's basketball season gave it a go, but couldn't come back from a double-digit halftime deficit Wednesday during a 73-58 loss at No. 25 MidAmerica Nazarene in the first round of the Heart of America Conference Tournament.
The Pioneers used seven points from sophomore Luke Thomas to pull out to an early 16-6 lead, a margin they stretched to 13 points on sophomore Conner Langrehr's three-pointer with 4:12 remaining in the first half.
Three buckets by sophomore Lawrence Brown got the Vikings to within 10 points at the break and neither team could put together a run during the first eight minutes of the second half, MidAmerica gradually increasing its cushion to 14 points.
Junior Michael Connor scored and senior Matt Baker sank two free throws as Valley narrowed the gap to 10 points with 10:49 left in the game, but that was as close as it could get.
A Connor bomb made it 53-43 with eight minutes to go, but that was answered by deuces from juniors Justin Collard and Rustin Dowd. The Pioneers eventually increased their lead to 19 points with under three minutes remaining.
Dowd topped MidAmerica (23-8) with 17 points and nine rebounds. The league-champion Pioneers will host No. 5 seed Graceland, a 68-58 upset winner at Avila, in the semifinal round Friday.
Connor had a game-high 23 points and Brown added 15 points off the bench for the Vikings (10-21), who closed the season with eight losses in the last nine games.
TEXARKANA, Ark. -- The Missouri Valley College men's rodeo team began the second semester the way they ended the first one, with a victory last week in the Cossatot Community College Rodeo at Texarkana, Ark.
The Vikings more than doubled the second-place score with 935 points. A difference of 630 points over Tennessee-Martin, their closest challenger to a fifth straight season title, gives them a commanding advantage of 4,540 to 3,100 points in the standings.
A third of Valley's points came in team roping, where senior header Jake Johnson of Fayette paired with heeler Zach Mabry of Troy (Ala.) for first place and sophomore Ben Runyon and Southern Arkansas' Justin Johnson came in second.
With a fourth place in calf roping, Runyon won the all-around award and contributed 225 points to the team tally.
Senior Tanner Aus was first and senior Will Crain third in bareback riding, adding 290 points to the total. Crain was second in the all-around with 210 points with a second place in bull riding. Another 170 points came from junior Jordan Corrigan's victory in saddle bronc riding.
The Lady Vikings finished tied for fourth place with 165 points, all coming from goat tying -- with junior Shelby Jacobson placing second.
Valley will be back in action a month from now, March 29-31 at the Arkansas-Monticello Rodeo.
The Missouri Valley College and William Woods baseball teams played musical mound Wednesday during the Owls' 15-5 non-conference win at Osage Field.
The two clubs used 19 different pitchers during their nine-inning tilt, regardless of whether a change was a situational necessity. Both teams are scheduled to play four games over the weekend, so the light use of arms was in order.
William Woods broke a 1-1 tie on sophomore Matt Thomas' grand slam in the top of the third inning. The Owls (7-4) added four runs in the seventh, two scoring on junior Robert Butvin's single, and three in the ninth on four hits and an error.
The Vikings' only crooked number was put up in the bottom of the eighth, both runs coming in on freshman Alex Latos' single.
Senior Geread Filippi and junior Adam Coleman each had three hits for Valley (1-7-1), which will play two games each against Concordia (Neb.) and Oklahoma Wesleyan during a triangular meet Friday and Saturday at Bartlesville, Okla.