Westbrook’s late three sends Bobcats to first Heart championship

Westbrook’s late three sends Bobcats to first Heart championship
LJ Westbrook goes to the hoop for two of his game- and season-high 39 points (Courtesy Photo)

A last second shot by LJ Westbrook (Salem, Ore.) went through and the Bobcats upset the fourth-ranked William Penn (WPU) Statesmen on their home court Friday night. Peru State won 102-99 and secured a spot in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart) Post-Season Championship on Monday night.

Westbrook finished with a game- and season-high 39 points on 16 of 25 shooting. Quantice Hunter added 29 points which included hitting all ten free throws. Marley Biyendolo was also in double figures as he added 16.

The men’s basketball team became just the second Bobcat team to reach a championship in the Heart. The baseball team won the tournament three years ago.

The ‘Cats will play Monday night against Graceland with tipoff scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The game will be shown on ESPN3. The Yellowjackets pulled a minor upset as they defeated Central Methodist (Mo.) on the Eagles’ home court 62-51.

Peru State swept the season series with the Yellowjackets as they topped Graceland in Lamoni 76-74 on Jan. 10 and then won 88-80 at home.

The winner of the championship will have a berth into the NAIA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament which will be held March 14-20 in Kansas City, Mo. It appears both teams will have good shots at at-large bids to the tourney, but winning the tourney secures an official bid.

With Peru State win, the Bobcats improved to 21-12 while William Penn fell to 27-4. The Bobcats have topped the Statesmen twice this season – once at home and Friday night in Oskaloosa.

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