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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Vikings pick up HAAC home win

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

If the Missouri Valley College men's basketball team had weary legs two days after its triple-overtime marathon loss to MidAmerica Nazarene, it didn't show down the stretch Monday.

The Vikings used a 25-10 run during the middle of the second half to pull away from visiting Benedictine for a 70-59 Heart of America Conference victory.

After nine lead changes through the first 25 minutes, the Ravens held a four-point edge. A three-pointer by freshman Jordan Epps with 15:08 remaining sparked a Valley run.

Junior Law Brown put back a miss, junior Kendall Hays and Epps connected from outside, Brown converted a feed down low from senior James Pope and Hays finished off a conventional three-point play to put the Vikings up by seven with 7:07 left.

Benedictine surged briefly before junior Jim Thomas hit a short jumper, Epps sank a pair of free throws and sophomore Kevin Stander buried a trey for an 11-point cushion with under four minutes to go. Valley stayed ahead by eight or more points the rest of the way.

The Ravens (12-6, 4-3 HAAC) saw their three-game win streak snapped despite 17 points and 12 rebounds from junior Charlie Wallrapp.

Epps led the Vikings (7-12, 2-5) in scoring for the ninth straight game with 24 points, improving his season average to 19.6 points per game. Brown contributed eight points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots.

For the second game in a row, the Valley women hung with a nationally-ranked foe for a half before being put away after intermission during a 68-57 loss to No. 21 Benedictine.

Behind freshman Rayna Smith's seven points, the Lady Vikings led by as many as 10 points during the opening period. That was before the Lady Ravens closed with a 15-1 spree over the final five minutes, capped by senior Kelsey Anselmi's bomb to give them a four-point lead at the break.

Benedictine was unable to extend the margin during the opening five minutes of the second half, but a 16-5 stretch widened the margin to 14 points midway through the period.

A 7-1 three-minute span got Valley to within six points with over four-and-a-half minutes remaining, but the Lady Ravens didn't allow another field goal.

Junior Rosie Youngstrom had 12 points to top Benedictine (16-3, 6-1).

Smith finished with 17 points for the Lady Vikings (4-15, 1-6).

Valley will close out its three-game home stand Thursday against Avila.



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