Peru State WBB fans treated to upset win over Grand View

Staff Writer
Syracuse Journal-Democrat

It was a fun night for the Peru State Staff Appreciation Night as the Bobcat women's basketball team treated their fans to an upset win over the visiting Grand View Vikings.

The 'Cats led almost the entire game in route to a 66-63 win over the Vikings who were receiving votes in the most recent NAIA Division I Coaches' Top 25 Poll.

Peru State improved to 9-14 on the year and 7-12 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart). It is the most wins for a Bobcat team since the 2014-15 season and the most conference wins since 2012-13.

Grand View fell to 18-9 on the season and 12-7 in conference play.

First Quarter Action

Reagan Kirkwood (Valley Falls, Kan.) put the Bobcats on the board first with a trey coming off an assist from Dayna Dewitt (Mansfield, Texas). Claire Cudney (Marysville, Kan.) followed with a bucket in the paint off an assist from Alyssa Marsh-Contreras (Omaha). Later, at the 6:44 mark, Dewitt hit a bucket off a turnover and the Bobcats led 7-0.

Grand View would later tie the game at 11 and then go ahead by hitting one of two free throws. Kirkwood would hit another trey, this time on an assist from Marsh-Contreras and the Bobcats never trailed after that point.

A bucket by Maddy McPhillips (Omaha) with 50 seconds left in the first quarter would give the 'Cats a 19-14 lead after the first ten minutes.

Second Quarter Action

Grand View scored first in the second stanza to cut the deficit to three. Kirkwood drained back-to-back three-pointers to extend the Bobcat lead to 25-16 with 8:30 left in the half. Marsh-Contreras hit a pair of free throws and Peru State had its first double-digit lead at 27-16 with 6:46 to go in the quarter.

A bucket by Marsh-Contreras would give the 'Cats their largest lead so far in the game at 29-16. The Vikings would fight their way back to five with just over a minute to go. Kirkwood would hit a long three-point attempt to end the first half with the Bobcats leading 34-26.

Third Quarter Action

A bucket by Kirkwood started the third quarter and Peru State again led by double digits at 36-26.

Peru State's largest lead in the quarter was 11 at 43-32 after Marsh-Contreras hit a trey at the 6:22 point.

The Vikings would again make it close and trailed 52-49 with just 26 seconds left. Marsh-Contreras would extend the lead to five at the end of 30 minutes with a bucket with seven seconds remaining in the period.

Fourth Quarter Action

It was back and forth for about the first five minutes of the final quarter before Peru State pulled out to a ten-point lead at 64-54 after Kirkwood made one of two free throws. That lead was barely enough as the Vikings again hammered their way back as they scored nine straight points to put the score at 64-63 with 1:22 remaining.

After several missed opportunities by both teams, Marsh-Contreras hit a pair of free throws with 13 seconds left to give the 'Cats a single-possession lead at 66-63. Again, both teams had opportunities, but the final Viking long-range attempt was short and the 'Cats grabbed the rebound for the win.

Team Statistics

Peru State made 25 of 68 field goal attempts for 36.8% which included hitting a remarkable and season-best 9 of 15 three-point attempts for 60%. At the free throw line, the 'Cats made 7 of 13 for 53.8%. Grand View was better from the floor making 28 of 66 field goals for 42.4%, but struggled from long range hitting just 4 of 21 tries for 19%. The Vikings also struggled at the charity stripe hitting just 3 of 8 for 37.5%.

The Bobcats grabbed one more rebound than Grand View as they finished with 37. The Vikings dished out 12 assists while the 'Cats had ten.

Both teams had too many turnovers with the Vikings having 20 and the 'Cats finished with 19. Grand View blocked six shots while Peru State blocked four. The Bobcats grabbed seven steals with the Vikings finishing with seven.

Peru Individual Statistics

Marsh-Contreras and Kirkwood led the team with 21 and 18 points respectively.

Giovanna Silva (Brazilia, Brazil) had a game-high ten rebounds with Cudney and Olivia Bell (Auckland, New Zealand) each grabbing seven.

Marsh-Contreras and Maddy McPhillips (Omaha) each dished out three assists.

Bell blocked two shots while Cudney and Kirkwood each had one block.

Cudney had a game-high five steals while Marsh-Contreras added two.

Upcoming Contests

Peru State has another tough opponent on Saturday as they will be hosting the eighth-ranked Central Methodist (Mo.) Eagles at 2 p.m. The Eagles are presently 23-2 overall and are 17-2 in the Heart having won eight in a row.

The Bobcats will then be on the road next Wednesday night, February 19, when they travel to face Benedictine in Atchison, Kansas. The Ravens are the team the 'Cats are trailing behind for the final spot in the Heart post-season tournament. Benedictine is presently 16-9 on the season, but 10-9 in conference play. That puts them three games ahead of the Bobcats at this point with five games remaining.