(Peru, Neb.)—On Wednesday night in front of a raucous crowd at the Al Wheeler Activity Center, the Peru State men's basketball team was defeated by the NAIA's No. 1 William Penn Statesmen 95-81. The Bobcats dropped to 10-12 overall and 5-7 in the Heart (North), William Penn improves to 20-1 overall and 11-1 in the Heart (North).
In the first half of action the Bobcats started the game with a flare as Jibril Harris (Chicago) slammed home a dunk off the assist from Man Man Baker (Aurora, Colo.). The Bobcats would start the game on an 8-2 to run.
Peru State would jump out to a 19-9 lead, and it would be the Bobcats largest lead of the game at ten. The Statesmen would cut the score all the way down to one before Harris knocked down a three-pointer putting the Bobcats up four with around nine minutes to play.
The teams would trade buckets for the middle part of the first half until a quick 5-0 run would put the Statesmen up 32-31. The Statesmen would close the half on a 12-0 run to take the 50-39 lead into the locker room.
In the beginning of the second half the Statesmen would score the first nine points of the half to lead by 20 which would be the Statesmen's largest lead of the game. The Bobcats would cut the lead down to ten at the 12:12 mark of the second half off a layup from Harris. The Bobcats would never get closer than nine points in the second half.
The Bobcats and Statesmen would trade buckets for much of the rest of the second half, but the Bobcats could never claw their way back into the game and they would fall to the Statesmen 95-81.
Here is what head coach, Bob Ludwig had to say about the game.
"We weren't able to carry over the attention to detail we had defensively the last two games," said Ludwig. "We played 20 minutes of good basketball, which isn't enough to knock off a team of William Penn's Caliber."
Ludwig and his staff were appreciative of the crowd that come out in support of their team.
"Our players and coaches are thankful for the improved crowd support our campus showed tonight," Ludwig stated. "We are going to continue to work to get this program back to competing for championships."
The Bobcats shot 32-of-78 from the floor for a 41% clip. The Statesmen shot 37-of-74 for a 50% clip. The Bobcats shot 7-of-24 from beyond for 29.2%, while the Statesmen shot 10-of-24 for 41.7%.
The Bobcats had three players in double-figures as Harris led the way with 25 points and contributed a double-double with 12 rebounds. Second in scoring was Henry Tanksley (Lincoln) with 20 and third in scoring was Troy Houghton (Omaha, Neb.) who finished with 19 points and nearly had a double-double with nine boards.
Next up for the Bobcats is a trip to Fayette, Missouri as they take on the Central Methodist Eagles (15-8, 6-6 Heart). Tip-off is set for 4 pm.