Vikings knock off No. 14 Peru State

Friday, February 15, 2019

PERU, Neb. -- The Missouri Valley College men's basketball team got its first win of the season against a ranked opponent Wednesday by pulling off an 87-86 Heart of America Conference decision at No. 14 Peru State.

After trailing by as many as 17 points, the Vikings made a second-half charge that culminated with a game-winning stick-back by junior Tavious Brazil of Boonville with two seconds remaining.

After four lead changes during the first three minutes, the Bobcats went on a 28-13 run that had them ahead, 34-17, with seven minutes to go in the first half.

Valley got the deficit down to eight points at the break, but Peru State soon bumped its advantage to 12 points. Over the next two-and-a-half minutes, the Vikings used an 11-2 surge to close to within three points on senior Bobby Collins' second-chance bucket-and-one.

A pair of shots by junior Tremont Moore put Valley in front by three points with 10:28 left and the lead changed hands 11 more times. Senior Brandon Jones put the Bobcats in front with a lay-up at the 20-second mark.

The Vikings worked the ball to senior Larry Plummer, who already had a game-high 27 points to his credit. Plummer missed a three-point attempt, but Brazil was there to grab the rebound and put it back in.

Senior Lyle Hexom scored 23 points and collected 11 rebounds for Peru State (17-7, 12-6 HAAC).

Valley (10-15, 8-11) got 12 points from senior Gabe Mackenzie and 10 each from Brazil and junior Darrell Watson for its fifth win in seven games.

That game capped a doubleheader sweep for Valley, the Lady Vikings also controlling the second half after falling behind early for a less-dramatic 82-67 decision.

Sophomore Claire Cudney and freshman Alyssa Marsh-Contreras each scored eight points to stake the Lady Bobcats to 24-13 lead three minutes into the second quarter.

Peru State took a five-point lead into halftime, but that was quickly erased by the Lady Vikings with an 8-1 run. A bomb by Marsh-Contreras gave the Lady 'Cats a two-point lead with 4:19 to go in the third quarter, but Valley reeled off a dozen straight points -- junior Sierra Adams and senior Jaylah Jackson striking from outside -- and eventually stretched their cushion to 16 points midway through the final frame.

Peru State (2-22, 1-19) was topped by Marsh-Contreras' 33 points.

Senior Leba Korovou had a career-high 20 points while sophomores Shanelle Tolley and Madison Belanger combined for 26 points to pace the Lady Vikings (12-14, 11-10), which sank 26 of 27 free throws.

Valley will return home Saturday to take on league rival Central Methodist.

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