Fueled by a 50-percent night from beyond the arc, the Peru State College Bobcats snapped the No. 4-ranked Raven Men's Basketball winning streak at seven games on Thursday night as the two schools opened Heart of America Athletic Conference play.
Benedictine (7-2, 0-1 Heart) made things interesting in the second half outscoring Peru State (6-3, 1-0 Heart) over the final 20 minutes, 37-32, but in the end the Ravens couldn't overcome their 10-point halftime deficit as the Bobcats held on for a 69-64 win.
The first five minutes of the game saw four lead changes and one tie before Peru State was able to build as much as a six-point lead by the midpoint of the first half.
A fast break basket from Jonathan Anaekwe with seven minutes left in the half cut the Ravens deficit to four, 25-21, but that would be all the closer Benedictine could get as Peru State closed the opening half on a 12-6 run to lead by 10 points, 37-27, at the half.
Benedictine cut their deficit down to three points inside the first four minutes of the second half on another Anaekwe basket.
Despite limiting Peru State to just eight second-half field goals, three points was all the closer the Ravens would get as the Bobcats were able to answer each Raven run with a basket of their own.
Benedictine outshot Peru State 41.3 percent to 34.4 percent from the field. The difference between the two teams came down to the charity stripe as Peru State converted on 12 of 19 free throws in the second half to Benedictine's 8 of 17 effort.
Anaekwe finished with 19 points as he paced the Ravens, who finished with three players in double figures. Brett Fisher went 4 of 5 from beyond the arc to scored 12 points while John Harris Jr. added 10 points.
Peru State was led in scoring by the 29-point effort of Corday Sims. Sims was the lone double-figure scorer for the Bobcats.
Benedictine hits the road for the second game of Heart play at 4 p.m. Saturday as they travel to Kansas City, Mo., to take on Avila University. Avila dropped their Heart opener on the road Thursday in Springfield, Mo., 63-50, to No. 20 Evangel University.