Bobcat turnovers and having to foul down the stretch led to a tough loss to the Ravens on Wednesday night in Atchison, Kansas.
The Benedictine (BC) Ravens were able to hold off a strong effort by Peru State clinching them a 70-64 victory.
Upon the completion of this game, the #2 ranked Ravens remain at the top of the conference with an overall record of 25-2 and a 21-0 undefeated record in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart). With their #14 ranking, the Bobcats moved down to 18-9 on the season and fell to 13-8 in conference play.
Peru State will remain third in the conference standings – keeping them one game behind William Penn (Iowa) and two games ahead Grand View (Iowa). The 'Cats have three games remaining in the regular season.
First Half Action
The Bobcats led the way scoring the first two points with a pair of free throws from Lyle Hexom (Omaha). The Ravens quickly responded with a field goal tying the game at 2-2. Benedictine then went on an eight-point run when it was finally put to rest by Brandon Jones (Houston) and followed by Jamil Maddred (Camden, N.J.). Each Bobcat player made a shot in the paint bringing the score to 8-6 at 16:55 left in the half.
The game continued scoreless following some missed three-point attempts from both teams and free throws by the Ravens. Play continued without any points until the drought was broken with 13:44 left after a trey from Hexom on an assist by Terry Moore Jr. (Kansas City, Kan.).
The Bobcats continue a 5-0 run putting the score at 14-8 until it is broken up by a trey from the opposing team. The two teams continued a close battle with the Bobcats keeping the lead due to a few field goals by Tyrone Carey Jr. (Aurora, Ill.) and a free throw by Jones. The lead was taken by BC following a trey with 7:03 remaining in the half. A great effort was taken by Moore Jr. to close the gap by a trey followed by a field goal with just five minutes left in the first half.
Benedictine held the lead until the end of the half. The game is held close by the Bobcats always staying within six points of the Ravens. They ended the half with a shot off the paint by Maddred bringing the score within three at 30-27.
The Bobcats were just behind shooting 31.3% in the first half from the floor while the Ravens made 35.7% of their shots.
Second Half Action
To begin the second half, a three-pointer was made by Moore Jr. assisted by KeShawn Wilson (Lincoln) to tie up the game at 30-30. Responding to a Benedictine trey, Jones adds to the Bobcats score by two. The two teams continue to hand the lead back and forth throughout the half with never more than a three-point lead until five minutes remaining.
Later, with 12:20 remaining in the second half, Hexom had a shot in the paint to the 'Cats up by three at 41-38. This launched a 4-0 run for BC with a cluster of free throws bringing them ahead by one point. Peru State again responded with two field goals made by Jones and Isaac Simpson (Papillion) respectively to again put the Bobcats up by three at 45-42.
The Ravens would then go on a 17 to 7 run to take a seven-point lead at 59-42 with 1:50 left in the game. There would be a flurry of scoring down the stretch. Benedictine would increase their lead to ten on two occasions as they hit their free throws as the game closed.
Benedictine finished with a 40.8% field goal shooting percentage as they connected on 20 of 49 tries which including making 11 of 28 from long range for 39.3%. The Ravens benefitted from making 19 of 22 free throws for 86.4%. Peru State made 25 of 67 field goals for 37.3% and hit 9 of 27 from behind the arc for 33.3%. The Bobcats only went to the charity stripe eight times and made five for 62.5%.
The 'Cats held a rebounding edge as they grabbed 43 boards compared to 33 for Benedictine. The Ravens finished with 14 assists while the Bobcats dished out ten. The turnovers were nearly even as Peru State finished with one more than BC as they had 12.
The Ravens blocked two shots while the 'Cats had one block. Both teams finished with six steals.
Peru Player Statistics
Three Bobcats finished in double digits in scoring and were led by Hexom who finished with 21. Moore Jr. added 13 while Jones contributed ten.
Moore Jr. finished with a double-double as he tied for game-high honors by grabbing ten rebounds. Jones grabbed eight while Hexom and Wilson each finished with six.
Moore Jr. dished out three assists with Hexom, Jones, and Wilson each handing out two assists. Hexom was credited with the lone Bobcat block. Jones nabbed three steals with Maddred adding two.
Peru State has three regular season games left with the next two on the road. On Saturday, the Bobcats have a long road trip to Dubuque, Iowa, to face Clarke in a 2 p.m. fray. The Crusaders are 12-15 on the season and are among those mired in the middle of the conference with ten wins against 11 losses.
The Bobcats will then face Missouri Valley on Wednesday, Feb. 27, before finishing at home on March 2 against Baker (Kan.).