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Bobcat women top Missouri Valley, 72-53

Staff Writer
Syracuse Journal-Democrat

When five of your players score in double figures that is usually a good sign. That was the case Wednesday night as Peru State had very balanced scoring in securing their second-straight road win.

The Bobcats topped Missouri Valley 72-53 in Marshall, Mo., in Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart) play.

With the win, Peru State improved to 7-10 overall – matching their highest win total since the 2016-17 season. More importantly, the 'Cats bettered their Heart record to 5-8 – also matching their highest conference win total since 16-17.

Missouri Valley fell to 3-13 on the year and 2-11 in conference play.

First Quarter Action

Giovanna Silva (Brazilia, Brazil) hit one of two free throws to start the scoring and then came back with a bucket in the paint off an assist from Reagan Kirkwood (Valley Falls, Kan.). Peru State had an early 3-0 lead at the 8:48 mark.

After the Vikings tied it with a three-pointer, Silva hit back-to-back buckets to make it 7-3 with 5:31 left. Claire Cudney (Marysville, Kan.) would make a pair of free throws and the Bobcats had their largest lead of the quarter at 9-3.

Missouri Valley would score six straight to knot the game before Cudney completed an old-fashioned three-point play with her bucket coming off an assist from Alyssa Marsh-Contreras (Omaha).

At the end of the quarter, Peru State led 12-11.

Second Quarter Action

Kirkwood started the quarter with a trey to extend the lead to four. Missouri Valley would eventually tie it at 15 with 8:10 left in the half.

A bucket by Olivia Bell (Auckland, New Zealand) on an assist from Maddy McPhillips (Omaha) at the 7:52 mark gave Peru State the lead for good.

Later, with 5:56 to go, Silva scored off a fast break to give the 'Cats their first ten-point lead at 27-17. McPhillips followed with a trey off an assist from Bell and the Bobcats had their largest lead of the first half at 30-17.

With 39 seconds to go in the first 20 minutes, McPhillips hit a bucket in the paint for the final scoring of the half. The 'Cats went into the locker room with a 34-24 lead.

Third Quarter Action

Missouri Valley got on the board first in the second half with Bell responded for the Bobcats to put the lead back to ten.

The closest the Vikings would get in the game came at 7:00, as they were within six at 36-30. The 'Cats would respond with a 9-0 run starting with a trey by Marsh-Contreras and ending with a three-pointer by McPhillips off an assist from Bell. With 5:39 left in the quarter, Peru State led 45-30.

Peru State's largest lead in the third stanza came at the 4:20 mark when Cudney scored off a fast break on an assist from Marsh-Contreras. The 'Cats led 49-31.

The third quarter would eventually end with the Bobcats leading 53-41.

Fourth Quarter Action

A bucket by Cudney started the quarter to make it 55-41.

Later, with 6:04 left in the game, Peru State had its first 20-point lead at 61-41 on a trey by Marsh-Contreras off an assist from Kirkwood. That would be the largest lead of the game for the 'Cats as the rest of the contest was played pretty even.

Team Statistics

Peru State outshot the Vikings in every category. The Bobcats made 26 of 61 field goals for 42.6% including hitting 7 of 20 from long range for 35%. At the free throw line, the 'Cats made 13 of 18 for 72.2%. Mo Valley connected on 21 of 62 for 33.9% and were 4 of 20 from behind the arc for 20%. At the charity stripe, the Vikings made 7 of 12 for 58.3%.

The Vikings did have a slight rebounding edge as they grabbed 43 boards compared to 40 for Peru State. The 'Cats had one more assist than Mo Valley as they finished with 19.

Peru State had 14 turnovers while the Vikings finished with 18. Mo Valley blocked five shots. The 'Cats nabbed nine steals while the Vikings had seven.

Peru Individual Statistics

McPhillips led the very balanced scoring for the 'Cats as she finished with 15 game-high points. Marsh-Contreras added 14 while Silva contributed 13. Cudney had 12 and Bell added ten.

Silva finished with a double-double as she grabbed a contest-high 13 rebounds. Cudney added seven.

Kirkwood and Marsh-Contreras each finished with five assists while Bell dished out four.

Marsh-Contreras finished with a game-high four steals and while Silva grabbed two.

Upcoming Contests

Peru State will be back on home on Monday before hitting the road again for a pair of game. Baker (Kan.) will be the opponent at 5:30 Monday in the Coaches versus Cancer – Suits and Sneakers game. The Wildcats are now 8-10 on the year and are 5-9 in conference play having won their last two games.