By BRYAN GIBBONS
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
CANTON, Mo. -- The Culver-Stockton College men's basketball team never left any doubt.
The Wildcats jumped to a 13-0 lead just 3 minutes, 52 seconds into the game en route to a 99-65 Heart of America Athletic Conference victory over Peru State on Saturday at Charles Field House.
C-SC (18-6, 9-3 HAAC) made 12 of its first 16 field-goal attempts and shot 51.4 percent from the field in the first half.
Junior forward James Johnson came off the bench to spark the offense in the first half, going 7 of 10 from the field and 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. He scored all 20 of his points before halftime.
"I was just able to get good looks because of the high tempo we had going," Johnson said. "We were able to get a big lead and coast the rest of the way."
If the Wildcats were supposed to coast in the second half, Marshawn Norris never got the memo.
The senior point guard scored 16 of his 23 points in the first 3:31 after the break.
"The key to our offense is to always stay aggressive," Norris said. "I just stay aggressive whether I'm passing the ball and setting someone else up or shooting it myself. A big key was the energy we got from the fans throughout the game.
"A big part of the aggressiveness we played with was the way we played defense, forcing them to take bad shots."
C-SC coach Jack Schrader echoed Norris' sentiments about the defense.
"We started the game playing great defense, not giving them easy looks," Schrader said. "Then we were able to get the rebounds, get down the court, and get easy baskets. When you play aggressive defense it really helps drive your offense. The basket looks bigger, the ball looks smaller, and the shots go in."
C-SC pressured Peru State up and down the court. The Bobcats shot just 30.3 percent in the first half while finishing the game 24 of 73 from the field.
Peru State didn't even make its first field goal until 4:14 into the game.