The Missouri Valley College women's basketball team saw a 13-point halftime lead disappear, but pulled out the victory at the end of Tuesday's home opener against non-conference foe Park, 61-58.
Valley held off the Lady Pirates' charge until senior Brianna Beridon tied the contest with a shot in the final minute. A turnaround jumper by senior Lindsi Jackson, a defensive stop and a pair of free throws from junior Alexis Sweet sealed the win for the Lady Vikings.
Beridon had 22 points for Park (2-4), which did not attempt a three-point shot and was out-rebounded by a 40-24 margin. The Lady Pirates also didn't take advantage of a 26-22 edge in free-throw attempts, making one fewer than the home team.
Sweet led the Lady Vikings in scoring for the fourth straight game with 19 points, also grabbing a game-high seven rebounds. Jackson and junior Eboné Brown each added 10 points, while senior Sami Jackson contributed seven points, four steals and three assists.
Valley (2-3) will face former Heart of America Conference rival William Jewell, now an NCAA Division II member, Friday in the Northwest Missouri State Tournament at Maryville.
Later on during the first doubleheader of the season in the Burns Athletic Center, the Valley men fell to College of the Ozarks, 84-61.
The Vikings trailed by 17 points at halftime, making only 25.7 percent of their field-goal tries. The Bobcats enjoyed a shooting margin of 56.3 to 48.3 percent during the second half to extend their lead.
Senior Mike Wiebe, a Branson native averaging 23.8 points per game, tallied 35 points on 13 of 16 shooting from the floor -- including seven of nine from three-point range -- to pace Ozarks (5-1).
Valley got a season-high 18 points from sophomore Kevin Stander and 17 points and three assists by freshman Jordan Epps, but were beaten on the boards by a 44-33 margin.
The Vikings have a week off before heading to 10th-ranked Columbia on Tuesday.