PERU, Neb. – The 2018 portion of the Bobcat women and men’s basketball season begins tonight as Peru State travels to Olathe, Kan., to face the MidAmerica Nazarene Pioneers.
The women’s contest is to begin at 5:30 p.m. while the men’s game will begin at approximately 7:30 p.m. in the Bell Family Arena – Rocky Lamar Court.
The Bobcat women enter the second half of their season with a 3-7 record and a 0-3 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart). Their opponents moved up to sixth in the NAIA DI Coaches’ Top 25 Poll which came out on Jan. 2. The Pioneers are 11-1 overall and are perfect in conference action at 3-0.
Peru State’s statistical leaders heading into tonight’s game are Abigail Niebrugge (Omaha) – 14.00 points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game, 1.56 steals per game, and 0.56 blocks per game; and Maddy McPhillips (Omaha) – 2.60 assists per game.
The ‘Cats will have a revamped roster for the second semester as there are now 13 healthy players on the team. In addition, Joan Albury has returned and will serve as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
The Peru State men finished the 2017 portion of their schedule with an 8-6 mark and are 2-1 in Heart play. MidAmerica Nazarene had been previously ranked, but recently have suffered a number of losses and dropped out of the Top 25 yesterday. The Pioneers are currently 8-5 on the season and are 1-2 in the Heart South.
The Bobcats’ stat leaders through 14 contests are Quantice Hunter (Chicago) – 23.00 points per game and 2.92 steals per contest; James (LJ) Westbrook (Salem, Ore.) – 4.75 rebounds per contest and 3.58 assists per game; and Noah Vasa (Nebraska City) – .80 blocks per contest.
Coach Bob Ludwig and his team will look to stay healthy during the 2018 portion of their schedule with the goal of making a good run in the conference race.
Both teams will be at home on Saturday, Jan. 6, when they host the Grand View Vikings at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. respectively. It will be Nebraska City Lourdes Day in the Al Wheeler Activity Center as former Lourdes’ graduates Vasa and Paulius Sakinis (Klaipeda, Lithuania) will be recognized. It is hoped that the athletic department can also recognize different groups from Lourdes who have experienced success this past year.