For the first 31 minutes of Saturday's game, the Peru State women's basketball team trailed the visiting Mount Mercy Mustangs.
The Bobcats were down ten at halftime and then with 5:47 left in the third, the 'Cats trailed 45-32. From that point on, Peru State scored 37 points while holding Mount Mercy to 14 to gain a 69-59 victory on Senior Day in the Al Wheeler Activity Center.
With the win, the Bobcats snapped a 13-game losing streak and won their third game of the season against 22 losses. The 'Cats also got out of the Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart) basement and improved to 2-19 in the conference.
Mount Mercy fell to 5-23 overall and 1-21 in the Heart.
First Quarter Action
Mount Mercy scored the first five points of the game before Lauren Beath (Bakersfield, Calif.) hit a trey off an assist from Leslie Kirkland (Rock Port, Mo.) to cut the deficit to two at the 8:02 mark. The Mustangs would score the next nine points to go up 14-3 before Allison Tichy (Bellevue) hit a trey coming on an assist from Daspin Bruning (Everest, Kan.).
Later, a bucket by Tichy on an assist from Alyssa Marsh-Contreras (Omaha) pulled Peru State within single digits at 21-12 at the end of the quarter.
Second Quarter Action
Mount Mercy would hit a trey to start the second stanza to move their lead to 12.
The closest the Bobcats would get in the quarter would be at the 2:59 mark when Brooke Maeda (Honolulu) hit a bucket in the paint to make it 27-20. The Mustangs would end up leading by ten at halftime at 32-22.
Third Quarter Action
The Mustangs would start the third period like they did the second – with a trey. Peru State would get back within seven later at 37-30 after Tichy hit a field goal off at assist from Marsh-Contreras at the 7:36 mark.
Mount Mercy would again go back up by 13 at 45-32 and later would lead 48-36 before Peru State would start its comeback. A pair of free throws by Marsh-Contreras and then a bucket by Giovanna Silva (Brazilia, Brazil) off an assist from Tichy made it 48-40. Another bucket by Silva pulled the 'Cats within six at 48-42.
After the Mustangs would hit a free throw, Tichy drained a three-pointer off an assist from Anjanea Simms (St. Louis, Mo.) to make it 49-45 with 1:35 left in the quarter. Marsh-Contreras would get a bucket with 55 seconds left and suddenly the Bobcats trailed only by two at 49-47 when the quarter ended.
Fourth Quarter Action
After Mount Mercy started the quarter with a bucket, Maeda hit a trey to pull the 'Cats within one at 51-50. After a Mustang timeout, Marsh-Contreras got a steal and took it to the hoop to give Peru State its first lead at 52-51. Mount Mercy would come back and retake the lead with a bucket.
Then, at the 7:42 mark, Maeda hit another trey off an assist from Simms to put the Bobcats in the lead for good at 55-53. Later, the 'Cats would have its first double-digit lead at 64-54 after Silva grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back in for the score.
The Bobcats would maintain the lead the rest of the way to gain the 69-59 victory.
Peru State had one of its better shooting nights of the season as they made 27 of 65 field goals for 41.5% including making 7 of 21 from long range for 33.3%. At the free throw line, the Bobcats hit 8 of 11 of 72.7%. Mount Mercy made 18 of 59 field goals for 30.5% while shooting better from behind the arc as they connected on 12 of 38 for 31.6%. The Mustangs connected on 11 of 17 from the charity stripe fo 64.7%.
The Bobcats had a slight rebounding edge as they grabbed 42 boards compared to 34 for Mount Mercy. The Mustangs did have a few more assists as they finished with 16 compared to 12 for Peru State.
Mount Mercy committed 18 turnovers while Peru State had 13. The Mustangs blocked two shots while the 'Cats finished with one. The Bobcats grabbed nine steals while Mount Mercy finished with seven.
Peru Player Stats
Five Bobcats finished in double figures with Maeda leading the way with 18 points on 7 of 9 shooting. Silva added 14 while Marsh-Contreras finished with 13. Tichy had 13 while Bruning contributed ten.
Silva finished with a double-double as she grabbed ten rebounds. Bruning added seven while Swaranga Fernando (Colombo, Sri Lanka) finished with six boards.
Marsh-Contreras dished out five assists with Simms handing out two. Bruning was credited with the team's lone block. Marsh-Contreras also led the team with four steals with Maeda nabbing two.
The Bobcats will conclude their season this week with three away contests. On Monday, the 'Cats will be in Olathe, Kan., to take on #7 MidAmerica Nazarene at 5:30 p.m. The Pioneers are 22-4 overall and 19-3 in the Heart.
On Wednesday, Peru State will face Benedictine in Atchison, Kan., at 5:30 p.m. The Ravens, who are receiving votes in the coaches' poll, are 18-10 on the season and 13-9 in conference play.
Peru State will play its final game of the 18-19 season on the road in Dubuque, Iowa, against Clarke at noon on Saturday, Feb. 23. The Crusaders, also receiving votes in the latest poll, at 18-10 overall and are 12-10 in the Heart.