By: Andy Pulverenti, Missouri Valley Sports Information Director
MARSHALL, Mo. - A standing-room only crowd at the Burns Athletic Complex on the Missouri Valley College campus saw the Viking men’s basketball team knock off the No. 11 Culver-Stockton (Mo.) College Wildcats in overtime Thursday evening 92-82. The crowd helped create an exciting atmosphere, through the first-ever Orange Hush night at Missouri Valley. The Vikings knocked off a ranked opponent for the first team in four years with the victory.
Fans were instructed to stay silent from tip-off through the tenth point scored by MVC. It did not take long for the fans to be rewarded for their cooperation, as Junior Guard Brad Hamilton (Pittsfield, Ill.) sank one of his two three-point field goals, less than three minutes into the contest, to put the Vikings up 10-7. The home crowd reacted on-cue with the make, and kept up its intensity through the entire game.
Despite the big shot by Hamilton, Culver-Stockton responded to score five-straight points moving ahead 12-10 near the 16-minute mark after a field goal by Karl Moore. MVC responded with a small run of its own, outscoring CSC 7-0 over the next three minutes and built a 17-12 lead. Culver-Stockton got back to within one point at 19-18, but again, MVC put together a run, this time outscoring the Wildcats 9-2 midway through the half to take a 28-20 lead after a made free throw by Hamilton. The lead was wiped away again, as Culver-Stockton scored seven straight points, capped off by a CJ Adams field goal to shrink MVC’s lead to 29-28 with six minutes remaining until halftime. The Vikings never relinquished the lead in the second half, building up to a six point advantage late in the half, before eventually going into a halftime ahead 40-37.
Missouri Valley shot over 53-percent in the first half, compared to 42-percent for Culver-Stockton, however the Wildcats were a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line while MVC was 4-8.
Culver-Stockton came out early in the second half, quickly tying the game at 42-42, and then taking their first lead since early in the first half when James Johnson hit a three-pointer to put CSC up 51-48 five minutes after the restart. The Vikings briefly retook the lead at 52-51 after a Junior Guard Andre Scott (San Antonio, Texas) field goal less than a minute later, but Culver-Stockton was able to maintain a lead over the next few minutes. An Adams field goal with just under 11-minutes to play in regulation put CSC up 60-56, but that lead eventually evaporated as the Vikings scored eight of the next ten points in the game. MVC grabbed a 64-62 lead after Sophomore Forward Jacob Powell (Marshfield, Mo.) hit a field goal with six minutes to play, and that lead stretched to 68-63 moments later after Powell sank two free throws. Culver-Stockton fought back again, scoring seven-straight points to lead 70-68 with just 46-seconds to play in regulation after a made field goal by Moore. Trailing by two points with the clock winding down, Hamilton drove to the basket and was fouled, sending him to the free throw line where he sank both free throws to tie the game at 70-70 with 36-seconds remaining. Culver-Stockton had one final look, as Jalen Jarrett drove inside the line for a layup, which he missed, sending the game into overtime.
The overtime period was dominated by MVC, as the Vikings scored the first 11 points in the extra period, six of which came from Sophomore Raviel Burton (St. Johns, Antigua). Culver-Stockton got as close as eight points, at 81-73 with just over a minute to play, but MVC finished 11 of 14 from the free throw line in the final minute to pull away for the 92-82 upset victory.
Leading the way for MVC was Senior Jim Thomas (St. Louis, Mo.) with 23 points to go along with five assists and four rebounds. Two Vikings finished with double-doubles, as Junior James Lane (Cape Girardeau, Mo.) had 18 points and career-high 20 rebounds. Also, Hamilton finished with 17 points and a career-high 10 rebounds.
For Culver-Stockton James Johnson finished with a game-high 22 points.
“This was a great win for our program, beating a highly ranked and respected Culver-Stockton team,” said Men’s Basketball Head Coach Chad Lance. “The crowd was great tonight, and created a great atmosphere for our guys. We’re glad we rewarded them with the victory.”
Thursday’s win was the first over a ranked team for MVC since defeating a No. 6 ranked Lindenwood (Mo.) University team on Jan. 7, 2010. The win moves MVC to 15-11 overall and 8-7 in HAAC play while Culver-Stockton falls to 19-6 on the season and 10-5 in the conference.
Previous to the men’s game Thursday night, the MVC women’s team improved to 17-10 overall and 9-6 in HAAC play with a 69-61 win over Culver-Stockton.
Missouri Valley will host Benedictine College in a doubleheader Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.