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Vasa posts 22 points, Bobcats fall to Benedictine, 74-70

Staff Writer
Syracuse Journal-Democrat
Noah Vasa, Peru State men's basketball

It was pretty evenly played ball game between a pair of national tournament teams from 2019.
At the end, it was the Benedictine Ravens men's basketball team that came out on top with a 74-70 win over Peru State on Wednesday, Jan. 15, in Peru.
With the win, Benedictine improved to 9-8 on the season and 7-4 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart). The Bobcats fell to 8-8 overall and are also 7-4 in conference play. The two teams are now in a three-way tie for third in the conference standings.

First Half Action
A basket by Kendrick Robinson (Chicago) off an assist from Henry Tanksley (Lincoln) got the Bobcats on the board first. The Ravens followed with a trey to take a 3-2 lead. Noah Vasa (Nebraska City) put the 'Cats back on top by making one of two free throws.
Benedictine would drain another three-pointer to go up 6-3. Robinson and Tanksley hooked up again to pull the Bobcats back to 6-5 with just under two minutes gone in the game. After the Ravens extended their lead to three, Tanksley hit a trey to tie the game at 8 on an assist from Devon Colley (Las Vegas). The Ravens would once again take the lead, but then Peru State would go on a little run.
With 16:46 to go in the first half, Vasa hit a jumper in the paint off an assist from Colley to tie it at 10. Tanksley would follow with back-to-back three-pointers and suddenly, the Bobcats led 16-10 with just over 15 minutes to go. Isaac Simpson (Papillion) followed with another trey and the 'Cats led 19-10.
The Ravens would stop the run with a bucket, but Tanksley came back with his third three-pointer of the game and the 'Cats had their largest lead of ten at 22-12 with 13:04 left in the half. The Ravens would go on a 6-0 run before Nick Brannon (Las Vegas) hit one from long range off an assist from Robinson to make it 25-18 at the 10:13 mark.
Another 6-0 Benedictine run followed to once again cut the lead to one at 25-24. The Bobcats would respond with a 7-0 run of their own which started with a bucket by Nate Townsen Jr. (Richton Park, Ill.) and end with a Vasa bucket in the paint. With 4:18 left in the half, the 'Cats had an eight-point lead at 32-24.
Benedictine would then outscore the 'Cats 10-3 to pull within one at 35-34 at the end of the first 20 minutes.

Second Half Action
The Ravens started the final 20 minutes with a trey to take a two-point lead. Vasa would tie the score on an assist from Robinson. Colley would make one of two three throws and the Bobcats were back on top. Benedictine and Vasa would trade three-pointers and the Bobcats led 41-40 with 17:27 left in the game.
Another 6-0 run by the Ravens gave them a 46-41 advantage. Benedictine would hold onto the lead until Vasa hit a trey at the 9:57 mark to tie it at 51. The game would later be tied at 53, 55, 56, 60, 62, 65, and 67 which came on a Nick Brannon (Las Vegas) slam dunk off an offensive rebound.
Benedictine would score the next five points before Tanksley pulled the 'Cats back within two at 72-70 off an assist from Colley with nine ticks left on the clock. Peru State had to foul and the Ravens hit both free throws to seal the win.

Team Statistics
Benedictine had a slight edge in shooting percentages as the Ravens made 25- of-52 field goals for 48.1 percent which included hitting 9-of-24 from behind the arc for 37.5 percent. At the free throw line, Benedictine went 15-of-19 for 78.9 percent. Peru State made 23-of-54 field goal tries for 42.6 percent and also hit 37.5 percent of their three-pointers as they made 12-of-32. At the charity stripe, the 'Cats hit 12-of-17 for 70.6 percent.
 Peru State had a slight rebounding edge as they grabbed 30 rebounds compared to 27 for the Ravens. The 'Cats dished out 19 assists while Benedictine finished with 14.
The Ravens finished with two fewer turnovers as they had 14 and the 'Cats totaled 16. Peru State blocked four shots while Benedictine blocked one. The Bobcats finished with eight steals while the Ravens had six.

Peru Individual Statistics
Two Bobcats finished in double figures with Vasa leading the way with a game- and career-high 22 points. Tanksley added 19 points while Robinson finished with eight.
Brannon led the team with seven game-high boards while Robinson added six.
Robinson dished out a game-high eight dimes while Colley handed out five. Tanksley and Brannon each dished out two.
Robinson, Vasa, Tanksley, and Simpson each blocked one shot.
Vasa, Tanksley, and Deonte McReynolds (Chicago) each nabbed two steals.