Late Run Powers Bobcat Men to Win over Graceland
After trailing for nearly two-thirds of the game, the Peru State College (PSC) Bobcat men’s basketball team had a 22-2 run in the final eight minutes of the game to top the visiting Graceland University YellowJackets last Thursday night.
Peru State trailed 62-55 with 8:09 left in the game before almost completely shutting down the YellowJackets to capture their second win in Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) action. The Bobcats won 77-64 and improved their overall record to 9-10.
With the win, PSC moved into a three-way tie for eighth in the ten-team HAAC league with Avila University and Graceland with one game remaining in the first half of the conference season. All three teams are 2-6 in the HAAC and Graceland fell to 5-14 overall.
It looked like the Bobcats might sprint away with the game early as Kody Kirkpatrick (Loami, Ill.) hit a three-pointer on an assist from Nate Bohy (Mesa, Ariz.) with just 16 ticks off the clock. Following a Graceland turnover and foul, Richard Oppitz (Topeka, Kan.) hit a two-pointer on an assist by Peter Knudsen (Vanloese, Denmark) giving PSC a 5-0 lead at the 18:59 mark. However, the YellowJackets responded with a 7-0 run of their own to go on top 7-5.
The teams traded hoops and were tied at 14-14 with 13:34 left in the first 20 minutes before Graceland regained the lead, one they would retain until late in the second half. The ‘Jackets led by as many as nine in the first half before ending the first stanza with a 37-31 halftime advantage.
In the second half, Graceland extended their lead to 12 at 51-39 with 14:10 left in the game. After that point, PSC made one of their runs in the half as they outscored the YellowJackets 15-3 to tie it at 54-54 with 10:50 remaining.
A quick 6-0 Graceland run put them back on top 60-54 forcing a PSC timeout. PSC did get one free throw which was followed by a Graceland hoop, making it 62-55. After that point, the ‘Cats went on their 22-2 run, during which time Graceland would only hit two free throws in the final eight minutes.
The ‘Cats had a very balanced scoring attack as four players finished in double figures. Bohy led the scoring with a game-high 17 points and added a game-high seven assists. Oppitz finished with a double double with 16 points, on seven of ten shooting from the floor, and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds. In addition, Oppitz blocked two shots.
Derrick Williams (St. Joseph, Mo.) added 15 points while Kirkpatrick finished with 12.