The Missouri Valley College basketball teams' return home from the holidays wasn't a welcome one with a pair of Heart of America Conference losses to Evangel.
The Vikings traded leads with the EU men nine times in the first half, but trailed by six points at intermission and fell off during the second period of an 88-61 loss.
The 18th-ranked Crusaders came out of the break with a 9-4 surge and used a 25-11 stretch later in the frame to extend the cushion to 22 points with under eight minutes remaining.
Evangel (10-4, 3-1 HAAC) got the bulk of its scoring off the bench, with 20 points from senior victor Agbasi and 16 by sophomore Korry Tillery. The Crusaders out-shot Valley 49.2 to 33.3 percent from the field.
Freshman Jordan Epps had 18 points, four assists and three steals for the Vikings (5-10, 0-3).
The Valley women trailed by only a point at halftime and hung into late of the game before falling, 53-42.
The Lady Vikings scored eight straight points early in the second period to take a 33-28 lead, but Evangel countered with a 13-2 run.
Freshman Brielle Martinez' bucket with 5:23 remaining cut the Valley deficit to one point. However, the Lady Crusaders reeled off the next eight points and made four of seven free throws in the final minute to secure the victory.
Senior Sierra McSpadden led Evangel (3-6, 2-1) with 13 points and eight rebounds.
The Lady Vikings (4-11, 1-2) got eight points each from seniors Cara Clark and Sami Jackson, along with 10 rebounds from senior Gabi Morales, but still went down to their fifth loss in a row.
The Valley teams will be on the road Saturday at Peru State.