High Marks for Gehring in Win Over Bobcats

Oskaloosa — Finally back in front of the home crowd, William Penn men’s basketball squared off against Peru State in a Wednesday night showdown. The Bobcats were a handful for the team last year and were able to stay with the Statesmen in the first half. However, William Penn outscored the visitors by 14 points in the second half to secure a 105-81 victory. The team is now 7-0 and is a perfect 5-0 in Heart of America Athletic Conference play.

For the first time aince the opening minutes of the game against Culver-Stockton, the Statesmen trailed, as Peru State made the first shot. The lead would swing back the other way as Karmari Newman (Sr., Detroit, Mich., Digital Communication) sunk a three to put WPU up 3-2. The Bobcats would take one more lead but Nathan Gehring (Sr., Waukee, Iowa) made his first shot of the night on a solid find by Newman.

The only tie of the game came with the score knotted at 6-6. Gehring tapped home his second field goal of the game after a Newman miss to put WPU up 8-6. The squad quickly produced a solid 8-0 run to go up 14-6. However, the Bobcats would not go away in the first, as they answered with a 7-0 run to make the score 16-13.

Brandon Faison (Sr., Charlotte, N.C., Sports Management) drove and scored to make it 18-15 before Josh Watkins (Sr., Chicago, Ill., Sports Management) made his presence felt. Watkins was wearing #22 in honor and celebration of Marquis Todd, the third time the Statesmen have bestowed the honor to commentorate his life during the home game against Peru State. Sinking back-to-back threes, Watkins put the team up 24-16 in the span of 27 seconds. Things seemed to click from there, as the lead got as high as 15 for the navy and gold.

The 13-0 run certainly seemed to put the game out of reach, but some missed shots and some turnovers gave the Bobcats some hope. Newman made a bucket with 4:13 to go to stretch the lead to 18 at 41-23, but from there, it was the visitors who found a groove. They slashed the lead to nine with two-minutes to go, as they capitalized on a 12-2 run to run out most of the first-half clock. The final word of the frame was delivered by Gehring, who was off to a grand start. Watkins made a defender pop out and the senior was left alone in the paint, as he made the score 45-35 with the layup.

WPU shot 46% from the floor in the first half but struggled from beyond the arc. They held the Bobcats to 41% but the rebound battle was almost even at the intermission. Gehring led all players with 15 points as he played at a high level in the first half.

Not wanting to slip-up at home, the navy and gold came out strong to start the second half. A 10-3 run saw Q Cager (Sr., Hopkinsville, Ky., Wellness & Recreation) start the half with a layup off a feed from Kevion Blaylock (Sr., Houston, Texas, Information Technology). Blaylock then stroked home a shot 20 seconds later as he worked towards a double-double yet again. The Statesmen continued to push the tempo in the opening five minutes, as Newman splashed down on two three-point shots. Just about four minutes in and the lead had grown to 60-40.

Peru State had another run in them however, as they blanked the Statesmen 10-0 over the next two minutes. From there, Watkins bagged another three-point shot while Faison and Rodrigo Soares (Fr., Dallas, Texas, Sports Management) chipped in to help establish a larger lead again.

With nine minutes to go, the margin was pushed over 20 points, as the hands of Ty Majlik-Autry (Jr., St. Petersburg, Fla.) knocked down his second three of the game. From there, the offense and defense of the navy and gold flourished, with Cager putting WPU 105-75 with 2:14 to go.

The Statesmen finished shooting 51.2% from the field, 30% from downtown, and made 11 of their 20 free-throws. They ended up winning the rebound battle 56-44. Gehring had a dominate night, as his 25 points paced the field and set a new season high, one short of his career best at William Penn. He also had seven rebounds. Newman was second with 17 while it was another big night from Blaylock, who netted 15 points and nabbed 13 rebounds. Watkins went 4-9 from deep to finish with 12 points while Faison had 11. Cager did well in all phases, as he put up 10 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists.

“We shared the ball really well tonight and our depth was very apparent,” said Head Coach John Henry. “Nate Gehring was awesome tonight and his play set the tone right away.”

Next Up: Clarke may have taken a loss to Graceland on Wednesday night, but the Pride and Statesmen always deliver a great game. Tipoff will be this Saturday, December 5, at 4:00 p.m.

Posted by on Dec 3 2020. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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