What was more frustrating about this contest than a three-point loss to Southwest Minnesota State on Saturday is that the Lady Vikings led almost the entire second half -- by as many as 14 points.
Junior Eboné Brown had nine points and seven rebounds to take Valley into halftime with a 10-point cushion, which rose to 41-27 with two more Brown field goals and another by freshman Gabby Lovelace.
The Lady Spartans stormed back with 14 straight points, starting with a pair of three-pointers from freshman Taylor Klingelhoefer.
Senior Lindsi Jackson sank two free throws and a trey and senior Cara Clark converted a three-point play for a nine-point MVC lead with 9:10 remaining. Missouri Baptist chipped away, twice tying the game before taking the lead for the first time in the half on senior Mandy Kirby's bucket with 17 seconds left.
Both teams made one of two from the free-throw line before Brown's rebound gave the Lady Vikings the ball with nine seconds to go, but game-tying attempts by junior Alexis Sweet and Jackson missed.
Junior Krystine Smith scored a game-high 25 points for the Lady Spartans (2-3), who held a slight edge in field-goal shooting, 41.7 to 38.3 percent.
Brown finished with a double-double, 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Jackson added 12 points for Valley (2-5) -- which begins Heart of America Conference play at home on Nov. 29 against Culver-Stockton.
COLUMBIA -- The Valley men gave 10th-ranked Columbia a tussle for over a half Tuesday before suffering a 72-65 non-conference road defeat.
The lead changed hands eight times during the first half, neither team having more than a seven-point advantage, before the Cougars went into the break with a one-point edge. Sophomore Tanner Sutton hit a pair of jumpers, one from outside, early in the second half to give Columbia a 49-41 lead.
A pair of buckets from junior Law Brown got the Vikings to within four points with 11:07 left, but they couldn't get closer. Junior Devin Griffin made two shots and junior Derrick Dilworth stroked a three-pointer with 5:17 remaining for an 11-point margin.
Griffin had 13 points and sophomore Zach Rockers came off the bench to hit three bombs for 12 points to pace Columbia (5-0).
Freshman Jordan Epps topped the 20-point mark for the third time this season with 24 points, while Brown added 21 for the Valley (2-6) -- which plays in the Midland Classic this weekend at Fremont, Neb.
ST. CHARLES -- The MVC men's wrestling team had one medalist Saturday at the Lindenwood Open.
Freshman Jacob Elkster won his first three matches at 149 pounds before suffering a loss in the quarterfinal round. The 11th-ranked Houston native pinned his next opponent and claimed a 12-10 decision before dropping his last two matches -- the second by injury default -- to finish in sixth place.
Seven Vikings won their opening bouts, with three 10th-ranked grapplers advancing on the back side. Junior Dan Mueller (285 pounds) was 3-1 in the wrestleback, while senior Gian Traverso (165) and junior Josh Manu (197) each picked up one additional win.
Unranked freshman Brett Bader (194) lost his opener, but then reeled off four straights wins before being eliminated one round from a trophy match.
Valley, ranked 16th in the NAIA, will be at home for the first time this season today for a dual against No. 10 Missouri Baptist.
LONDON, Ont. -- The Valley women's wrestling team won one of four matches Saturday during the Harry Geris Memorial Duals at London, Ont., finishing in eighth place.
The seventh-ranked Lady Vikings opened with a 13-12 decision over MacMaster (Ont.), but were then beaten by Simon Fraser (B.C.), 26-5. Calgary (Alb.) notched a 26-5 win over Valley, which closed with a 22-12 loss to Lakehead (Ont.).
The Lady Vikings (5-5) will take on No. 11 Missouri Baptist today in their final home event of the season.