A 19-point lead by the home team was enough to hold up during the second half as Evangel defeated Peru State 77-64 in women's basketball action.
The Crusaders led 39-20 at halftime and held on for their fourth win of the season. Evangel improved to 4-2 overall and more importantly went to 3-0 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart). Peru State fell to 2-4 on the season and 1-2 in conference play.
First Quarter Action
Evangel hit the first bucket, but Alyssa Marsh-Contreras (Bellevue) countered with a trey to put the 'Cats in the lead at 3-2 with 8:38 left in the first quarter. A pair of free throws put the Crusaders back on top 4-3. Claire Cudney (Marysville, Kan.) grabbed an offensive rebound and went back up for the hoop to give the Bobcats the lead – what actually would be the last lead in the game for Peru State at 6:41 in the first stanza.
The Crusaders would score the next 12 points in a row to go up 16-5 before Giovanna Silva (Brazilia, Brazil) would put in a bucket to stop the run. Evangel would eventually lead 20-12 at the end of the first ten minutes.
Second Quarter Action
A 6-0 run by the Crusaders extended their lead to 14 before Anjanea Simms (St. Louis, Mo.) hit a bucket on an assist from Marsh-Contreras to make it 26-14 with 7:30 left until halftime. Evangel would then extend their lead to 20 at 36-16 before Silva put in a bucket.
Evangel would lead 39-20 at halftime.
Third Quarter Action
The Crusaders would start the second half with a trey. Silva would grab an offensive rebound and put it back in to put the 'Cats on the board at the 8:46 mark. A three-pointer by Allison Tichy (Bellevue) cut the deficit to 17 at 42-25.
The teams would continue to trade buckets until the end of the quarter when Reagan Kirkwood (Valley Falls, Kan.) would hit a trey on an assist from Brooke Maeda (Honolulu). Evangel would lead 54-37 after 30 minutes of action.
Fourth Quarter Action
Evangel would outscore the Bobcats 17-6 to start the fourth quarter to lead 71-43 after the first five minutes.
A bucket by Marsh-Contreras was followed by a trey from Keaundra Washington (Omaha) to cut the score to 71-48 at the 4-minute mark. The Crusaders would still lead by more than 20 at 77-56 before the 'Cats would score the final eight points.
Maeda hit a three and then Marsh-Contreras added a bucket off an assist from Maeda. Washington nailed a three-pointer to end the scoring.

Team Statistics
Peru State actually out-shot the Crusaders from the floor as they made 24 of 64 for 37.5% and connected on 8 of 21 from long range for 38.1%. At the free throw line, the 'Cats made 8 of 12 for 66.7%. Evangel hit 24 of 67 field goals for 35.8% and went 7 of 29 from behind the arc for 24.1%. The biggest difference in the loss came at the free throw line as the Crusaders made 22 of 31 free throws for 71%.
The Bobcats also had a slight rebounding edge – 45 to 43. The Crusaders did dish out three more assists as they finished with 18.
One of the other big differences in the game was that Peru State committed 22 turnovers while the Crusaders had 12. Evangel blocked seven shots compared to two for the 'Cats. The Crusaders also had nine steals while the Bobcats finished with just two.
Peru Individual Statistics
Three Bobcats finished in double figures. Cudney led all scorers as she had 15 points. Marsh-Contreras and Silva each finished with 12. Washington was one short of double figures with all of her points coming on three-point shots.
Cudney also led all rebounders as she had a game-high 12 boards as she finished with a double-double. Silva added eight rebounds.
Maeda dished out five assists while Marsh-Contreras handed out four. Maddy McPhillips (Omaha) was credited with three assists.
Washington and Simms each blocked one shot.
Cudney and Marsh-Contreras each grabbed one steal.
Upcoming Games
The Bobcats will be off this Thanksgiving week, but will come back to play three games during the first week of December. All three will be Heart conference action.
On Monday, Dec. 2, the 'Cats will host MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) at 5:30 p.m. The Pioneers are off to a perfect start as they are 3-0 overall and 2-0 in Heart play.
Then, on Thursday, Dec. 5, the Bobcats will travel to Baldwin City, Kan., to face Baker at 5:30 p.m. The Wildcats are 4-2 on the year, but have lost two in a row to fall to 1-2 in conference action.
Clarke (Iowa) will be the opponent on Saturday, Dec. 7, at noon. The Pride are also off to a good start as they are 6-1 overall and are 2-1 in the Heart.
On Dec. 7, there will be a toy drive for area agencies. Any new toy brought to the game will allow an individual free admission to the game. At halftime of both contests, the Fantastic Flyers from Glenwood, Iowa, will perform.