ATCHISON, Kan. – Conference player of the year Lyle Hexom scored 25 points, Brandon Jones finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and the No. 24 Peru State men’s basketball team won their first ever Heart of America Athletic Conference Tournament Championship with a 74-65 victory over No. 1 Benedictine Tuesday night in Atchison, Kan.
It was the Bobcats’ (23-10) first win over the Ravens this season. They had lost twice during the regular season— 67-63 on Jan. 10 and 70-64 on Feb. 20. The defeat snapped a 29-game winning streak for Benedictine (24-1) and marked the program’s first loss to a Heart foe since Feb. 26, 2018.
Jamil Madrid scored 15 points and Terry Moore, Jr. came off the bench to add 10.
Peru State shot 40 percent from the field, below their season average, but made up the difference in two key categories: rebounding (47-33) and three-point shooting (9 3-pointers). Offensive rebounds resulted in 19 second chance points for the ‘Cats.
Freshman of the year standout Eric Krus led Benedictine with 26 points and 12 rebounds. He shot 71.4 percent from the field and hit 4-7 3-point shots.
Both Peru State and Benedictine have punched their tickets to the 82nd Annual Division I Men’s Basketball National Championships, March 20-26, at Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City, Mo. The 32-team field and brackets will be announced on Wednesday by the NAIA office via Facebook Live at 5 p.m. Information on how to watch the event can be found here.
Tickets and information about the tournament can be found at www.NAIAhoops.com/tickets.
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