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Mo. Valley repeats November feat, tops Bobcat men

Staff Writer
Syracuse Journal-Democrat

The Missouri Valley Vikings men's basketball team claimed the season series over Peru State with a 79-75 win on Wednesday.

Back in November, the Vikings topped the 'Cats in Peru by a score of 78-75.

With the win, Missouri Valley improved to 10-8 on the season and are now 7-6 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart). The Bobcats fell to 9-9 overall and are still one game ahead of the Vikings in the conference standings with an 8-5 mark.

The contest was tight throughout as neither team had a double-digit lead at any point.

First Half Action

Missouri Valley scored the first four points of the game before a bucket byNick Brannon(Las Vegas) off an assist fromDevon Colley(Las Vegas) got the Bobcats on the board at the 18:39 mark.

The Vikings maintained the lead for the next five minutes before Colley scored off a fast break to give Peru State a 14-13 lead with 13:11 to go in the first half. Colley would complete an old-fashioned three-point play to make it 15-13.

After Mo Valley tied it at 15-15, a pair of free throws byKendrick Robinson(Chicago) broke the tie. Robinson later fed Colley for a bucket and the 'Cats led 19-15 at the 10:32 mark.

The game would then be tied at 19, 24, 26, 31, 33, and 37 in the half before the Vikings hit a trey to take a 40-37 lead going into halftime.

Second Half Action

Mo Valley started the second half with a trey and would eventually stretch their lead to nine at 51-42 at the 15:45 mark. That would be the largest lead of the game for either team.

The Bobcats would slowly claw their way back into the game as Colley hit a bucket and thenIsaac Simpson(Papillion) made a pair of free throws to pull the 'Cats back within five.
Later, with 13:29 remaining in the game, a pair of free throws by Robinson made it 54-52.

Missouri Valley would again extend their lead, this time back to eight at 60-52 with just over 12 minutes to go in the game.

Once again, the 'Cats would work to pull themselves back into the contest. With 8:11 to go in the game, a pair of free throws by Brannon got the Bobcats back to just a one-point deficit at 65-65. Brannon then followed with a bucket to put the 'Cats on top for the only time in the second half.

The Vikings then went on a 7-0 run and then the teams basically went back and forth down the stretch with Missouri Valley holding on for the win.

Team Statistics

Both teams shot the ball well from the floor with the hosts being hot from field goal range. The Vikings made 30 of 59 field goals for 50.8% and hit half of their shots from long range connecting on 11 of 22. Missouri Valley did struggle a little from the free throw line hitting 8 of 15 for 53.3%. Peru State finished hitting 26 of 59 field goal tries for 44.1% while making 5 of 20 from behind the arc for 25%. At the charity stripe, the 'Cats kept themselves in the contest making 18 of 23 for 78.3%.

The rebounding was dead even at 33 apiece. The Vikings dished out one more assist as they finished with 17.

Peru State had three fewer turnovers as they had 14 miscues. Missouri Valley blocked four shots during the game. The 'Cats doubled up the Vikings in steals as they had 12.

Peru Individual Statistics

Robinson went off for a game-high 31 points on 11 of 19 shooting. Colley and Tanksley each finished with 15 points.

Robinson and Brannon each tied for game-high rebounding honors as they both had eight boards. Tanksley grabbed seven.

Colley dished out eight assists with Robinson handing out four. Simpson and Tanksley each finished with two dimes.

Brannon and Robinson led the team with three steals.

Upcoming Contests

On Monday, January 27, the Bobcats will be at home before heading back out for two road games. Baker (Kan.) will be the opponent at 7:30 p.m. The Wildcats have the same record as Peru State overall and are one game back in conference play at 7-6.

Monday night will be the Bobcats' Coaches versus Cancer – Suits and Sneakers game. There will be a free will donation instead of an admission charge for the contest.