Vikings take HAAC road tilt

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Missouri Valley College men's basketball team did what it needed in the clutch Monday for a 79-76 Heart of America Conference decision at Baker.

The Vikings trailed during the final 14 minutes of the first half, by as many as seven points, but a conventional three-point play by junior Daryl Lemear trimmed the margin to two points at the break.

There were seven lead changes and the score was tied nine times during the second period, before senior Brody Gronewold hit a short jumper to put Valley in front with 1:13 remaining.

Junior Beckley Obineke got inside for the Vikings 40 seconds later following a steal by junior Remy Price. A lay-up by senior Tyrome Parker trimmed the Wildcats' deficit in half with 11 seconds to go, but sophomore Bobby Collins III made two free throws down the stretch to preserve the Valley victory.

Junior Daniel Young led Baker (11-11, 8-10 HAAC) with 17 points and eight rebounds.

Gronewold wound up with 19 points and dealt out four assists, Obineke scored 17 off the bench, and Lemear and Price each had 13 points for the Vikings (11-9, 9-8) -- who shot a robust 53.7 percent from the field, their third-most efficient game of the season.

The Valley women were doomed by a sluggish opening against 10th-ranked Baker, falling 80-62.

The Lady Wildcats took control with a 21-12 first quarter behind senior Mackenzie Cook's seven points, stretching their lead to 12 on senior Kelsey Larson's bomb to begin the second frame.

The two teams played dead even during the middle two periods, Baker's lead never dipping below five points -- that when freshman Sierra Adams scored off a turnover with 8:50 left in the game. The Lady 'Cats responded with a long jumper from sophomore Anna Hignight and stretched the gap gradually as the game wound down.

Larson had a game-high 26 points and seven rebounds for Baker (18-4, 16-2).

Junior Deidra McCoy's 24 points paced the Lady Vikings (10-11, 6-11), who were out-shot 50.9 to 36.6 percent from the floor for the game.

Valley hosts Evangel on Thursday.

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