The Central Methodist (CMU) women's basketball team was able to double up the score on the visiting Bobcat team Saturday afternoon in Fayette, Mo. Peru State played CMU even in the second half, but it was more than enough for the Eagles to win 85-62.
Central Methodist is the eighth-ranked team in the NAIA DI and improved to 10-1 overall and 6-1 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. Peru State fell to 3-7 on the season and are 2-5 in conference play.
First Quarter Action
The Bobcats took an early lead with a bucket by Dayna Dewitt (Mansfield, Texas) off an assist from Claire Cudney (Marysville, Kan.) with just 28 seconds gone in the game. Cudney would follow and make one of two free throws to extend the Peru State lead to 3-0.
The Eagles would score nine straight points and never trailed after that point. Alyssa Marsh-Contreras (Omaha) hit a bucket to stop that run only. But, that was the final points Peru State would score in the quarter as Central Methodist would score nine more points to lead 18-5 at the end of the first ten minutes.
Second Quarter Action
After CMU scored the first bucket of the second quarter, Reagan Kirkwood (Valley Falls, Kan.) hit a bucket in the paint off an assist from Brooke Maeda (Honolulu).
After the Eagles extended their lead to 19 at 28-9, the 'Cats went on a little run. Cudney would make one of two free throws and then would dish the ball after grabbing an offensive rebound to Maeda would drain a trey. Later Marsh-Contreras would hit a trey and the Bobcats were back within 12 at 28-16 with 7:20 to go in the half.
Again, that would be as close as Peru State would be as the Eagles closed the quarter outscoring the Bobcats 18-7. CMU led 46-23 at halftime.
Third Quarter Action
After the Eagles increased their lead to 25 at 50-25 and again the 'Cats went on another run as they scored 12 straight points to eventually pull within 13 at 50-37 at the 6:10 mark.
Kirkwood started the run with a trey off an assist from Maeda and then Cudney hit a bucket off an assist from Marsh-Contreras. Kirkwood would add another bucket on another assist from Marsh-Contreras to cut the deficit to 18. A pair of free throws by Cudney as followed by a bucket by Dewitt after she grabbed an offensive rebound. Dewitt would then make one of two charity tosses to finish the 12-point run.
CMU would come back with nine points of their own and basically sealed the win at that point. The Eagles would lead 61-45 at the end of three stanzas.
Fourth Quarter Action
The Eagles score the first eight points of the final quarter on their way to the 85-62 win.
Team Statistics
Central Methodist shot the ball very well from the floor as they made 34 of 72 for 47.2% while making 6 of 18 from long range for 33.3%. The Eagles sunk 11 of 12 free throws for 91.7%. The Bobcats hit 22 of 71 field goals for 31%. From behind the arc, Peru State made 6 of 29 for 20.7%. The 'Cats struggled at the free throw line as they hit 8 of 16 for 50%.
The Bobcats did control the boards as they grabbed 58 rebounds compared to 36 for the Eagles. The Eagles did have 19 assists compared to 15 for the 'Cats.
Peru State finished with 26 turnovers – ten more than CMU. The Eagles blocked three shots and grabbed 19 steals. The Bobcats had ten steals.
Peru Individual Statistics
Three Bobcats finished in double figures and were led by Marsh-Contreras who finished with 14. Cudney and Giovanna Silva (Brazilia, Brazil) each finished with ten points. Kirkwood was one shy of double figures.
Cudney had a game-high 15 rebounds to finish with a double-double.  Dewitt added 14 while Silva also finished with a double-double as she grabbed 11.
Marsh-Contreras dished out five assists while Maeda handed out three. Cudney and McPhillips each were credited with two assists.
Cudney, Marsh-Contreras, and McPhillips each had two steals.
Upcoming Contests
Peru State will play an exhibition game on Monday as they will face the 6-2 Missouri Western Griffons at 11:30 a.m. in St. Joseph, Mo. The NCAA DII team defeated Lincoln (Mo.) 66-47 on Dec. 7.
The Bobcats will play a non-conference game in Omaha on Wednesday night against the College of St. Mary. The Flames are 4-9 overall having won their last two in a row. Game time is 6 p.m.
The 'Cats will then be off for over two weeks until they host Mount Mercy (Iowa) at noon on Saturday, January 4. The Mustangs are 2-8 on the season and are 1-6 in Heart play.
The January 4 contest will be part of the Peru State Foundation's Alumni Basketball Reunion weekend. All former basketball players and coaches are invited to attend with special recognition being given to the 50- and 25-year teams.