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Lady Vikings halt slide

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Missouri Valley College women's basketball team put an end to a nine-game losing streak Thursday with a 55-51 home decision over Heart of America Conference foe Avila.

The MVC men won for the third time in the last four league games by defeating the Eagles, 64-50. It was the first time in eight HAAC doubleheaders this season that Valley recorded a sweep.

The Lady Vikings led throughout the first half and had an 11-point advantage two minutes into the second period before Avila staged a 12-2 charge to pull to within a point.

A pair of free throws by sophomore Michaela Brinkley put the Lady Eagles in front for the first time with 9:16 left in the game. The contest would be tied four times over the next three-and-a-half minutes before senior Sami Jackson made a short jumper for Valley.

Freshman Rayna Smith converted two freebies and Jackson knocked down another shot to extend the Lady Vikings' lead to six points with under two minutes remaining.

Avila cut the deficit to two points before senior Lindsi Jackson sealed the win by making both ends of a one-and-one from the stripe with two seconds to go.

Senior Cassie Bruner had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Lady Eagles (4-12, 3-5 HAAC).

The Lady Vikings (5-15, 2-6) had a balanced attack, with six players tallying six or more points -- topped by Sami Jackson's 10.

The men's game followed a similar pattern, with Valley leading the entire first half by a small margin.

Avila twice gained the lead early in the second frame, but the Vikings went on a 22-2 spree over a seven-minute span to take command behind junior Jim Thomas' seven points.

Valley scored on four straight possessions on a pair of shots each from freshman Jordan Epps and junior Kendall Hays for an insurmountable 62-44 cushion with under four minutes remaining.

The Eagles (7-11, 2-6) got 16 points and nine rebounds from freshman Sedrick Johnson. Avila missed all 19 of its three-point attempts, 11 during the second half.

Epps had 11 points, five assists and three steals for Valley (8-12, 3-5), which enjoyed a 19-6 edge in bench scoring and out-shot the visitors 43.6 to 36.5 percent from the field.

After three straight home dates, MVC is back on the road Saturday at Graceland.

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