Vikings race past Graceland

Friday, February 7, 2014
Senior Jonathan Bird III (33) flew to the rack for a jam which gave the Vikings a 17-point lead over Graceland late in the first half. (Chris Allen/Democrat-News)

The Missouri Valley College men's basketball team knocked down a season-high 14 three-pointers Thursday during a 99-80 Heart of America Conference home win over Graceland.

The Vikings had their highest offensive output during a regulation-length game since beating Peru State, 101-81, on Nov. 14, 2005.

Valley got off to a quick start, junior Brad Hamilton burying four threes in the first nine minutes, junior Andre Scott's steal and transition goal extending the lead to 32-15.

What kept the Yellowjackets in the game were three bombs from aptly-named sophomore Trey Sathoff, the last one closing the margin to 11 points with 2:30 left in the first half.

Senior Jamal Lawson's stick-back and fast-break goal got Graceland to within seven points, but Scott finished the half with a short jumper.

Sophomore Max Francisco opened the second period for the 'Jackets with a deuce off the offensive glass, but Lane hit from inside and Hamilton crashed the boards for a bucket to put Valley up by 13 points.

Senior Kendall Hays and Hamilton struck twice from the perimeter during a 22-7 run which pushed the spread to 76-56 with 12:15 remaining in the game.

Graceland got as close as 14 points on two occasions afterwards, but the Vikings answered both times: on a put-back by Lane and a Hamilton bomb following Lane's eighth offensive rebound. With 19 offensive boards as a team, Valley held a 23-11 advantage in second-chance points for the game.

Lawson had 20 points to top the 'Jackets (12-10, 4-7 HAAC), who were beaten on the glass by a 49-38 margin.

Hamilton finished with a game-high 23 points, with Lane adding 18 points and 13 rebounds. Scott had 11 points and four steals, Hays led the bench with 14 points and senior Jim Thomas dished out eight assists for the Vikings (12-10, 5-6) -- who took over sixth place in the league standings and will have a chance to move up further Saturday at MidAmerica Nazarene.

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