Vikings pull out HAAC road win

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Missouri Valley College basketball team split a Heart of America Conference doubleheader Saturday at Clarke, the men taking a down-to-the-wire 73-72 decision.

The Pride got off to an 8-2 start, lost the lead twice, then opened up an eight-point cushion -- all in the first six minutes. Senior Larry Plummer made a lay-up and junior Darrell Watson converted a free throw, three-pointer and stick-back to begin a 15-0 Viking run capped by goals from senior Lincoln Elbe and junior Tremont Moore.

Valley led by 12 points with 1:23 left in the first half, but bombs from senior Ernest Bolden and freshman Keith Johnson sliced that gap in half before intermission.

A Johnson three got Clarke to within a point, but juniors Alonzo Williams and Tavious Brazil connected from outside and Williams drove for a bucket and one as the Vikings regained a 10-point edge.

Senior Staci Richardson's Trey capped a 16-6 Pride surge to level the contest with 7:08 to go.

The lead changed hands four more times, with a three-point play by Williams putting Valley in front with 42 seconds remaining. Bolden made two free throws, but Watson's charity shots with seven seconds remaining gave Valley the win.

Clarke (10-14, 8-10 HAAC) had five players score in double figures, led by Bolden's 14 points.

Williams had 17 points and Watson contributed 13 points off the bench for the Vikings (9-15, 7-11).

The Valley women led only once during the early game, but stayed close throughout a 59-49 loss to Clarke.

The Pride was up by three points after one quarter and -- after the Lady Vikings briefly went in front on sophomore Madison Belanger's with 3:35 left in the second quarter -- the same at halftime.

Senior Jaylah Jackson tied the game midway through the third period, but Clarke answered with a three from freshman Kailee VanZeeland. Two Belanger freebies closed the margin to two points with four minutes remaining, but Valley could pull no closer.

Sophomore Morgan Pitz scored 16 points for the Pride (17-9, 11-9), who out-shot the Lady Vikings from the field, 33.9 to 30.4 percent and controlled the boards by a 43-30 margin.

Valley (11-14, 10-10) was topped by Jackson's 11 points.

The Vikings will be on the road Wednesday when they play at Peru State.

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