The contest was much closer than the final score would indicate in Peru State's 79-64 win over the visiting MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (MNU) Pioneer men's basketball team.
 
The game was tied Monday night at 61 apiece with 7:31 to go in the contest. The Bobcats would outscore MNU 18-3 the rest of the way for the 15-point win.
 
Peru State, who was receiving votes in the most recent NAIA DI men's basketball coaches' poll, improved to 4-4 on the season. More importantly, that Bobcats are now 3-1 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart).
 
MidAmerica Nazarene is also 4-4 on the year, but fell to 2-2 in the early portion of conference action.

First Half Action
 
Isaac Simpson (Papillion) started the scoring for the Bobcats with a bucket in the paint with just 18 ticks off the clock. After a three-point shot was made by the Pioneers, Devon Colley (Las Vegas) countered with a three-pointer off an assist from Kendrick Robinson (Chicago) to regain the lead for Peru State.
 
Later, after the game was tied at 10, Colley would hit another trey, this time coming off an assist from Simpson, to start a little run by the Bobcats.
 
Eventually, Peru State would build their lead to double digits at 11 at 24-13 after Nick Brannon (Las Vegas) hit a bucket in the paint off an assist from Colley.
 
However, the Pioneers would not quit as they went on a 13-2 run to tie it at 26-26 with 5:39 to go in the first half. MNU would add two more points at the free throw line to take a 28-26 lead.
 
Robinson would complete an old-fashioned three-point play to put the 'Cats back in the lead at 29-28. Brannon would extend the lead with a bucket off an assist from Henry Tanksley (Lincoln).
 
The Pioneers would tie it up with a trey and later the game was tied again at 36-36 with 2:25 left in the half.
 
MidAmerica Nazarene would score the next five points before Simpson finished the scoring in the first 20 minutes with a bucket in the paint off an assist from Nate Townsen Jr. (Richton Park, Ill.).
 
The Pioneers took a three-point lead into the halftime break at 41-38.
 
Second Half Action
 
Colley started the second half with a trey on an assist from Robinson to tie the game at 41-41 at the 18:20 mark.
 
The Pioneers would counter with a bucket and then would hold onto the lead for the next seven minutes.
 
A bucket by Tanksley, off an assist from Brannon on a fast break, would put the Bobcats in the lead at 52-51 with 11:50 left in the game.
 
Peru State would never trail from that point on; however, MNU would later tie it at 61-61 with 7:31 to go.
 
A pair of free throws by Robinson broke the tie just ten seconds later.
 
The 'Cats would extend their lead to ten at 73-63 on a trey by Simpson off an assist from Townsen Jr.
 
The Bobcats would have their largest lead of the game come with 54 seconds left when Robinson threw down a dunk to make it 79-63.

Team Statistics
 
Peru State made 28 of 62 field goals for 45.2%, but struggled from behind the arc as they made only 6 of 27 for 22.2%. At the free throw line, the 'Cats went 17 of 22 for 77.3%. MNU connected on 21 of 59 field goals for 35.6% and shot almost as well from long range as they made 10 of 29 for 34.5%. At the charity stripe, the Pioneers went 12 of 16 for 75%.
 
The rebounding was nearly even as the Bobcats edged the Pioneers 36-35. It was the same way in assists as Peru State had one more assist as they finished with 20.
 
The 'Cats finished with 15 turnovers while MidAmerica Nazarene committed 20 errors. The Bobcats blocked four shots compared to just one for the Pioneers. The biggest difference in the team stat line was that Peru State nabbed 11 steals compared to just four for MNU.
 
Peru Individual Statistics
 
Four Bobcat starters finished in double figures. Simpson led the way with 18 points on 7 of 12 shooting. Robinson added 17 points with 13 of those coming from the free throw line. Tanksley and Colley added 15 and 12 respectively. Brannon and Noah Vasa (Nebraska City) each contributed eight points.
 
Robinson tied for game-high honors in rebounding as he grabbed 11 boards to complete a double-double. Colley added eight rebounds.
 
Robinson and Townsen Jr. shared game-high honors as they dished out five assists each. Colley handed out four assists while Simpson and Brannon each had two assists.
 
Colley, Tanksley, Brannon, and Vasa were each credited with one blocked shot.
 
Colley led the team with five steals while Robinson grabbed three.
 
Upcoming Contests
 
The Bobcats will head south to Baldwin City, Kan., for a battle of the 'Cats Thursday night. Peru State will face Baker at 7:30 p.m. The Wildcats are 4-6 on the season and are 2-3 in the Heart. They have lost their last two conference contests.
 
On Saturday, Peru State will be hosting Clarke (Iowa) at 2 p.m. The Pride are 4-5 overall and are 2-3 in conference action having split its last two Heart contests.
 
For Saturday's basketball games, if those planning on attending bring a toy, they will receive free admission. In addition, the Fantastic Flyers of Glenwood, Iowa, will be performing at halftime of each contest. Also, between games, the athletic department will recognize two Bobcat senior cross country runners.