Each team won two quarters. But, in the end, a big second and fourth quarters propelled the Peru State women's basketball team to their first Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart) win.
The Bobcats defeated the visiting Missouri Valley (MVC) Vikings 72-62.
Peru State improved to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the Heart. The Vikings fell to 2-3 on the season and 1-1 in conference play.
First Quarter Action
A field goal by Claire Cudney (Marysville, Kan.) started the contest with just 19 seconds off the clock. Missouri Valley would score the next four points before Cudney knotted it back up, this time coming off an assist from Maddy McPhillips (Omaha).
The teams would go back and forth in the quarter with the Vikings eventually led 13-9 after the first ten minutes.
Second Quarter Action
The Vikings would extend their lead to six with a pair of free throws. Cudney would make back-to-back buckets to cut the lead down to two at 15-13 with 8:42 left in the first half.
MVC would lead until 5:08 left in the first half when Alyssa Marsh-Contreras (Bellevue) drained a trey off an assist from Giovanna Silva (Brazilia, Brazil). The Vikings scored the next four points to take the lead at 24-22. Anjanea Simms (St. Louis, Mo.) scored the next bucket to tie it after grabbing an offensive rebound and putting it back in.
McPhillips put the Bobcats back in the lead with a three-pointer off an assist from Marsh-Contreras to give the 'Cats the lead at 27-24 with 3:50 left in the half.
Peru State would have their largest lead of eight at 33-25 after Allison Tichy (Bellevue) hit a bucket with 56 seconds. The Vikings hit a trey to end the half with the Bobcats leading 33-28.
Third Quarter Action
Missouri Valley would start hot in the third quarter as they scored the first eight points to regain the lead at 36-33. Silva would score the first points for the Bobcats on an assist from Cudney at the 7:33 point in the quarter.
The Vikings would maintain the lead until the 2:14 mark when McPhillips hit a pair of free throws to tie it at 44-44. A bucket by Simms off an assist from McPhillips would follow and put the 'Cats back in the lead. MVC would get a bucket late in the quarter to tie it at 46-46 after 30 minutes.
Fourth Quarter Action
The Vikings would get the first bucket of the final ten minutes to take an early lead of 48-46. Freshman Reagan Kirkwood (Valley Falls, Kan.) would hit a trey off an assist from McPhillips to give the 'Cats the lead.
The teams would trade leads before it was tied at 53-53 and then later at 56 apiece. A basket by Tichy off an assist from Cudney would give Peru State the lead which actually would be for good.
Later, with 1:22 to go, a bucket by Cudney from Marsh-Contreras gave the Bobcats their largest lead of the game of nine at 68-59. The Vikings would get a trey to cut the deficit to six, but that would be as close as MVC would be the rest of the game.
Team Statistics
After a cold-shooting first quarter, the Bobcats warmed up and did out-shoot their opponents from the floor. Peru State made 25 of 56 field goals for 44.6% which included making 7 of 22 from long range for 31.8%. At the charity stripe, the 'Cats struggled a little making 15 of 26 for 57.7%.
Missouri Valley made 21 of 53 from the floor for 39.6%. They only made 3 of 18 three-point tries for 16.7%. At the free throw line, the Vikings made 17 of 25 for 68%.
Peru State held a slight rebounding edge as they grabbed 35 boards compared to 31 for the taller Vikings. The Bobcats dished out five more assists as they finished with 17.
The Bobcats also had an edge in blocked shots – 3 to 1. MVC had one more steal as they finished with seven.
Peru Individual Statistics
Cudney and Marsh-Contreras both had 17 points to lead the Bobcats. Four other Bobcats – Tichy, McPhillips, Kirkwood, and Simms – each finished with eight points.
Cudney finished with a double-double as she grabbed a game-high 12 boards. Simms added eight while Silva finished with seven.
McPhillips and Kirkwood each dished out four assists while Cudney and Marsh-Contreras each handed out three.
Cudney blocked two shots with Simms finishing with one.
Marsh-Contreras and Cudney each were credited with two steals with McPhillips and Kirkwood each grabbing one.
Upcoming Contests
The Bobcats will be heading to Springfield, Mo., on Saturday to face Evangel at 2 p.m. The Crusaders are 3-2 on the season and 2-0 in the Heart having started conference play with wins over Mount Mercy (Iowa) and Graceland (Iowa).
Peru State will then be off until Monday, December 2, when they host MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) at 5:30 p.m. The Pioneers are 2-0 on the season and 1-0 in Heart play having defeated William Penn (Iowa) Wednesday night.