HANNIBAL -- Freshman Jordan Epps continues to have a big impact for the Missouri Valley College men's basketball team.
Epps rang up 27 points, including the critical last one for the Vikings, during a 62-60 non-conference victory Monday at Hannibal-LaGrange. The guard from Nixa has matched or exceeded that scoring mark four games in a row.
The lead changed hands seven times before Valley pulled away with a 12-1 run at the end of the first half. Epps knocked down a three-pointer and came up with a steal for a fast-break basket and sophomore Jordan Stapp buried a pair of perimeter jumpers in the final minute for a 38-25 margin.
A bomb by sophomore Kevin Stander widened the gap to 18 points with over 14 minutes remaining, but the Trojans wouldn't go away. Freshman Herod Montgomery made three shots and senior Jurgen Lico's second trey during a 19-2 spree got Hannibal-LaGrange within a point with 5:23 left.
Epps answered from outside twice and got into the paint for a deuce to make it a seven-point spread with 2:29 to go. Montgomery struck from long range and a lay-up by freshman Jomal Green closed the Trojans' deficit to three points at the 27-second mark.
An Epps free throw with eight seconds remaining made it a two-possession game, so junior Alistair McCann's put-back at the buzzer was too little.
Lico had 14 points to pace Hannibal-LaGrange (3-9), which lost its earlier meeting with the Vikings by two points on Nov. 6.
Epps hit 10 of 14 shots from the field, including five of six from beyond the arc. Valley (5-9), which won back-to-back games for the first time this season, head to NCAA Division II Northeastern State (La.) for an exhibition game Saturday before resuming Heart of America Conference play Jan. 3 against visiting Evangel.