PERU – The Wildcats of Culver-Stockton (C-SC) (Mo.) hung around for most of the first half and kept the pressure on the home-standing Peru State men’s basketball team Thursday night. However, the ‘Cats went on a 12-0 run to finish off the first half to take a 51-34 lead into halftime.
C-SC managed to pull within 12 points early in the second-half, but that was as close as the Wildcats would get. Peru State would go on to a 91-69 win which puts the Bobcats into the Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart) Postseason Tournament semifinals Saturday afternoon.
Peru State finished the game shooting 50.7% as they made 35 of 69 field goal attempts. The Bobcats made 9 of 24 from long range for 37.5%. At the free throw line, Peru State connected on 12 of 20 for 60%. Culver-Stockton made 22 of 62 field goal tries for 35.5% which included hitting 5 of 21 from behind the arc for 23.8%. At the charity stripe, the Wildcats made 20 of 27 for 74.1%.
The Bobcats had a big rebounding edge as they grabbed 44 boards compared to 29 for the Wildcats.
Brandon Jones led all scorers with 23 points on 11 of 15 shooting. Lyle Hexom grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds to finish with a double-double. He also had 14 points.
The Bobcats, seeded second in the Heart postseason tourney, will host the third-seeded William Penn (Iowa) Statesmen at 4 p.m. in the Al Wheeler Activity Center on the College’s campus.
Peru State improved to 21-10 on the season while the Wildcats finished their season at 16-16.
All four of the top seeds in the Heart came through Thursday night. Top-seeded Benedictine (Kan.) will host fourth-seeded Clarke (Iowa) on Saturday at 4 p.m. At the same time, the Bobcats will be hosting third-seeded William Penn.
Benedictine is on a 28-game winning streak and is presently 29-2 on the year. Clarke has a five-game winning streak and is now 16-15.
The Statesmen of William Penn are 21-10 on the year after snapping a four-game losing streak which finished up their regular season. The Bobcats are on a three-game winning streak and are also 21-10.
William Penn and Peru State split their regular season games this season with each team winning on their home court. The Statesmen won 83-76 in December while the Bobcats won 85-68 near the end of January.
The winners of the two semifinal match-ups will face each other on Tuesday night at the higher-seed site. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.
NCN Radio will provide a broadcast via B103 on the radio dial or on the internet at http://player.listenlive.co/58521.