After dropping their opener of the 2019-20 season, the Peru State men's basketball team rebounded for a win over the Columbia Cougars Saturday afternoon. The Bobcats defeated the Columbia Classic hosts 76-62 in Columbia, Mo.
 
With the win, the 'Cats are now 1-1 after the opening weekend. The Cougars fell to 0-2 with the loss.
 
First Half Action
 
Deonte McReynolds (Chicago) hit a trey to open the scoring in the game just 19 seconds in and the Bobcats never trailed the whole game.
 
Noah Vasa (Nebraska City) followed with a three-pointer of his own and then Kendrick Robinson (Chicago) added a two-pointer to make it 8-0 Peru State at the 18:39 mark. The Cougars would stop the Bobcat run with a trey, but Devon Colley (Las Vegas) countered with a two-pointer in the paint.
 
Peru State's first double-digit lead would be with 14:48 on the first half clock as Colley hit a trey off an assist from McReynolds to make the score 23-11 at that point.
 
Columbia would later fight back to within six at 25-19 before Robinson nailed a three-pointer which was followed by a two-pointer by Henry Tanksley (Lincoln). With 11:33 on the first half clock, the 'Cats led 30-19.
 
About three minutes later, the Bobcats had their largest lead of 15 at 34-19 after Isaac Simpson (Papillion) hit a trey on an assist from Colley.
 
The Cougars would again fight back with eight straight points to cut the deficit to seven at 34-27 before Vasa would score in the paint on an assist from Colley.
 
At the end of the first 20 minutes, Peru State would lead by nine at 45-36.
 
Second Half Action
 
Within the first 90 seconds of the second half, the Cougars had cut the lead to four at 45-41 before Tanksley hit a bucket off a turnover. Colley followed with a bucket to extend Peru State's lead back to eight at 49-41 with 16:30 left in the contest.
 
At the 14:56 mark, Columbia was back within five at 51-46, but that would be as close as the Cougars would be the rest of the way.
 
Nick Brannon (Las Vegas) hit a bucket in the paint on an assist from Tanksley and then Colley made a pair of free throws to extend the lead to nine.
 
With 13:01 on the clock, Tanksley hit a trey off an assist from Robinson and the 'Cats were back up by ten at 58-48. After one free throw was made by Columbia, Simpson hit a trey on an assist from Colley and it was never less than a double-digit lead after that point.
 
Peru State would have its first 20-point lead at 73-51 after Tanksley hit another three-pointer with 5:40 on the clock.
 
Columbia would outscore Peru State 11-2 from that point on, but the Bobcats had secured their first win of the 19-20 campaign.
 
Team Statistics
 
The Bobcats out-shot the Cougars in all aspects of the game. Peru State was 28 of 62 from the field for 45.2% which included a very good 13 of 31 from long range for 41.9%. At the charity stripe, the 'Cats made 7 of 11 for 63.6%. Columbia was 23 of 62 from the floor for 37.1% and hit 9 of 32 three-pointers for 28.1%. At the free throw line, the Cougars went 7 of 12 for 58.3%.
 
Peru State had a slight edge in rebounding as they grabbed 42 boards compared to 38 for the Cougars. The 'Cats also dished out one more assist as they finished with 15.
 
The Bobcats had a much better night handling the ball than the previous night as they more than cut in half Friday night's turnovers as they finished with 11. Columbia had 13 miscues.
 
The 'Cats blocked six shots while Columbia finished with three. Peru State nabbed three steals while the Cougars had just one.
 
Peru Individual Statistics
 
Three Bobcats finished in double figures in scoring and they were led by Colley who finished with 19 points on 7 of 13 shooting. Tanksley added 18 points while Simpson contributed 14.
 
Vasa, Colley, and Brannon each grabbed nine rebounds to lead the team.
 
Colley dished out six game-high assists while Brannon handed out three.
 
Vasa and Brannon each blocked two shots while Colley and Tanksley were each credited with one.
 
Brannon, Tanksley, and Simpson were each credited with one steal.
 
Upcoming Contests
 
Peru State will be traveling to Brookings, S.D., to face NCAA DI opponent South Dakota State in an exhibition game on Thursday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. The Jackrabbits have played an exhibition and will play the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley before hosting the Bobcats. South Dakota State finished last season with a 24-9 mark.
 
The 'Cats will then be off before hosting their first Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart) game on Saturday, Nov. 16, at 6 p.m. The Culver-Stockton (Mo.) Wildcats will be the opponent. Culver-Stockton opened their season Friday night with an 81-65 win over Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.).