A strong first half by the Peru State men's basketball led the 'Cats to their 13th win of the 2018-19 season.
The Bobcats jumped to a 47-31 halftime lead over the visiting Clarke (Iowa) Pride in route to an 86-72 win.
Peru State improved to 13-4 on the season and more importantly to an 8-3 mark in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart). The Pride fell to 7-10 on the year and 5-6 in conference play.
First Half Action
Terry Moore Jr. (Kansas City, Kan.) hit the first bucket in the paint off an assist from Lyle Hexom (Omaha) to give the 'Cats the first points of the game. Jamil Maddred finished with a game- and
career-high 28 points
After Clarke tied the score, Jamil Maddred (Camden, N.J.) the first of his five three-pointers in the contest off an assist from KeShawn Wilson (Lincoln). This put the Bobcats up 5-2 and Peru State never trailed after that point.
Peru State's first double-digit lead came at 26-15 after Wilson hit a trey off an assist from Michael Wardy(Roca) with 8:51 left in the first half.
The Bobcats maintained their double-digit lead the remainder of the half and led by as many as 21 at 44-23 after Isaac Simpson (Papillion) hit a three-point shot off an assist from Moore Jr. This came with just over three minutes left in the game.
Clarke did cut the lead back to 15 with 1:44 left before Wilson hit another trey, this time on an assist from Tyrone Carey Jr. (Aurora, Ill.) to make it 47-29. The Pride would get a pair of free throws to end the half trailing 47-31.
Second Half Action
A field goal by the Pride to start the half was countered by Moore Jr. Maddred would then follow with a pair of free throws and then Nicholas Wurm(Adelaide, Australia) to put Peru State up 53-33 at the 18-minute mark.
Maddred would hit another three off an assist from Wurm to give Peru State its largest lead to that point at 56-33 with 17:22 left in the contest.
The Bobcats would go up by 25 for the first time at 67-42 after Maddred hit a pair of free throws with 9:53 to go in the final 20 minutes.
Peru State's last lead of 25 would come when the 'Cats led 72-47 after another pair of Maddred free throws.
Clarke would cut the lead to 16 at 77-61, but the Bobcats would go back up by 22 at 86-64 after Deonte McReynolds hit a trey off an assist from Wurm with 2:46 remaining.
The Pride would score the final eight points of the game, but it was too little, too late.
Moore Jr. finished with 14 points.
The Bobcats were hot in all shooting aspects. From the floor, Peru State made 29 of 57 field goals for 50.9 percent including hitting 15 of 34 from long range for 44.1 percent. At the charity stripe, the 'Cats hit 13 of 15 for 86.7 percent. Clarke made 26 of 67 field goal tries for 38.8 percent which included making 8 of 29 from behind the arc of 27.6 percent. At the free throw line, the Pride hit 12 of 14 of 85.7 percent.
Peru State had a slight rebounding edge as they grabbed 35 compare to 30 for the Pride. The Bobcats dished out 21 dimes while Clarke finished with 12 assists.
The 'Cats did have more turnovers as they finished with 21 compared to 17 from Clarke. The Bobcats blocked three shots while the Pride had two blocks. Clarke did double up Peru State on steals as they finished with 14.
Maddred led all scorers with 28 on 7 of 12 shooting which included making 5 of 7 from behind the arc. Moore Jr. added 14 points with McReynolds finishing with 11.
Moore Jr. led the team with seven rebounds while Maddred and Hexom each finished with six boards.
Wilson dished out five assists on the night while Moore Jr. added four. McReynolds handed out three dimes.
Hexom, Moore Jr., and Wardy each blocked one shot.
Maddred and Moore Jr. each finished with two steals.
Peru State will be at home again this coming Wednesday night when they host Grand View (Iowa) at 7:30 p.m. The Vikings are 8-7 overall on the season and are 4-6 in the Heart.
On Saturday, January 19, the Bobcats will be on the road in Fayette, Mo., where they will face Central Methodist. The Eagles, who were receiving votes in the last NAIA DI Coaches' Top 25 Poll, are 11-5 overall and are 6-4 in conference play. Central Methodist is presently fourth in the Heart standings while Peru State is just one spot ahead of the Eagles.