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Morning Sun
  • 'The Microwave' heats up against Henderson State

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  • Pittsburg State head coach Lane Lord has a way with words, and nicknames. For example, he's been known to describe shooters on a hot streak as "The Microwave." In the Elite Eight season of two years ago, Lord used the nickname for Brooke Conley. During the press conference Thursday night, Lord brought it back out for junior wing Morgan Westhoff after her career-high 28 points in 28 minutes of a 76-56 win over Henderson State. "Morgan's been probably, beside Lizzy (Jeronimus), she's been our best player this year," Lord said. "She's been outstanding. She gives us a great lift. We call her 'The Microwave.' She comes in off the bench, she heats it up and she's been staying pretty hot. The microwave's still cooking right now. We'll probably start her the next game. We've got to have better starts to the game." Before the season, Lord had this to say about the St. Paul native. "Morgan was our second-leading scorer last year and top 10 3-point shooter in the league," he said. "She shot over 40 percent from 3s and she is a shooter. I think her defense has improved. It's what keeps her off the floor at times but she's older, more mature and had a great offseason in the weight room and she's quicker and stronger. We need her to score points." Lord said on Thursday that Westhoff's defense has improved and No. 35 added six rebounds (five defensive) and two steals to her 28 points. Westhoff's teammates have fed the hot hand the last two games out against Indianapolis and Henderson State. "Coach Lord always says work inside-out," Westhoff said. "I have to give a lot of credit to the guards because they always find me. They're great passers and when they get a double-team, they know exactly where to kick it out. I have to give all the credit to them." "Morgan's been our spark off the bench," Jeronimus said. "We look to her now to score and she's been hitting her shots. Like she said, if we hit the post and kick it back out to her, that's where we score our points and she's just been doing a good job knocking it down." Westhoff, more traditionally identified with outside shooting, displayed her ability to drive to the basket and to hit mid-range shots. It seemed as if Henderson State read the scouting report on her, or the Reddies' defense took note after Westhoff's early barrage. "Well, I'm not supposed to dribble the ball," Westhoff said. "People like to play me close, so obviously shot fake-drive, because they're going to come out hard on me because they don't think I'm going to drive the ball. That's what I tried this game." Westhoff ranks second on the Gorillas this season with 16.5 points per game, shooting 56.1 percent (23-41) from the field and 54.8 percent (17-31) from 3-point range.
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