Score: Evangel 73, Missouri Valley 75
Records: Evangel (6-16, 4-7); Missouri Valley (13-8, 6-5)
Location: Marshall, Mo. | Redford Gymnasium
MARSHALL, Mo. – A three-quarters court heave from Justin Washington bounced off the back of the rim as time expired. A shot that would have given the Evangel men's basketball team its second straight road win.
Instead, the shot gave Missouri Valley a 75-73 victory over the Crusaders on Saturday night proving that even basketball is a game of inches.
Missouri Valley led for 34 minutes of the game, however never pulled away as the largest lead for the Vikings was eight points coming midway through the first half. After a 34-28 lead at halftime for the Vikings, Evangel managed to outscore Missouri Valley 45-41 in the second half that came down to the final minute.
A three-pointer by Justin Washington with 1:30 left in the game tied the score for the sixth time at 69-69. Washington tallied his ninth double-double finishing with 21 points and 16 rebounds.
After a pair of free throws by the Vikings and a clutch basket by Luke Call with 14 seconds left, Missouri Valley helped Evangel stay in the game going 1-of-2 at the line with 12 seconds remaining.
Dylan Bekemeier then continued his hot streak with two free throws to pull the Crusaders within one, 74-73, with seven seconds left in the game. Bekemeier tallied a game-high 28 points in the loss for his fourth consecutive game with at least 20 points.
After a Missouri Valley turnover, Evangel got another chance with six seconds as Justin Washington took the inbounds pass and drove to the basket. A no-call resulted in a jump ball giving the Vikings the ball back, but a foul before the ensuing inbounds put Missouri Valley back at the line.
The Vikings again went 1-of-2 as the second free throw was off the mark, allowing Washington his shot at the game-winner.
Missouri Valley was nearly a new team with three new additions on the floor that became eligible for the second semester. None of the additions played in the first meeting against the Crusaders in Springfield on December 2. Evangel forced 17 MVC turnovers in the loss as the Vikings were hot from the field in the second half shooting 52 percent.
Beckley Chism Obineke led Missouri Valley with 16 points and eight rebounds as Tim Washington finished with 15 points.
Evangel returns to the Ashcroft Center Wednesday evening to host MidAmerica Nazarene. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EvangelAthletics or go to www.EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Go Evangel Front Row App at EvangelAthletics.com/FrontRow available on Google Play and in the App Store.