Vikings come back for HAAC road win

Friday, February 5, 2016

ATCHISON, Kan. -- The Missouri Valley College men's basketball team have begun the second tour of the Heart of America Conference better than it did the first one.

Junior Brody Gronewold scored nine points during the final six minutes Wednesday to lead the Vikings to a 66-60 come-from-behind victory at Benedictine, their third in the last four games.

Gronewold and senior Raviel Burton sank three-pointers to begin the contest for Valley, which led most of the way - but never by more than 10 points, which occurred when Burton connected from outside with 2:31 left in the first half.

Two bombs from senior John Harris, Jr., helped the Ravens cut the deficit to three points by the break. Junior Justas Norvilas tied the game with a stick-back five minutes into the second period and gave Benedictine its first lead with a trey. Two long Schannuth jumpers extended the margin to seven points with 13 minutes to go.

The Ravens were ahead by six points after junior C.J. Vallejo made a three at the 6:43 mark, but Valley charged back. Gronewold hit a mid-range shot and Burton got loose inside. Gronewold put the Vikings in front by making a three with 4:02 remaining.

Gronewold's lay-up and another perimeter shot extended the gap to four points. Vallejo's three was answered by one from sophomore Byron Cooke and Harris' deuce was countered by Gronewold. Burton's two free throws with nine seconds left sealed the win.

Benedictine (12-9, 6-9 HAAC) was led by sophomore Christian Hatterle with 17 points.

Burton had a double-double, 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Gronewold finished with 16 points for the Vikings (12-11, 7-8).

Earlier, 22nd-ranked Benedictine jumped on the Valley women early during a 95-59 route. Sophomore Kristen Murphy tallied nine points during the Lady Ravens' 21-11 first quarter.

With the Lady Vikings shooting 19.4 percent from the field during the first half, they trailed 38-22 at intermission and didn't get closer than 14 points the rest of the game.

Senior Chayla Rutledge had a game-high 21 points for Benedictine (19-4, 11-4).

Valley (9-10, 7-8) got 17 points from sophomore Deidra McCoy.

The Vikings return home Saturday to face Central Methodist.

Contact Chris Allen at callen@marshallnews.com

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