PITTSBURG — A split week is on tap for Pittsburg State basketball, as the Gorillas host Central Missouri on Wednesday before traveling to take on Southwest Baptist on Saturday.
PSU WOMEN KICK OFF WEEK AGAINST JENNIES
With three weeks remaining in the regular season, the No. 11 Pitt State women (19-3, 11-2 MIAA) face another top-25 matchup when they square off against No. 15 Central Missouri (18-3, 11-2 MIAA) at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at John Lance Arena.
The Gorillas are winners of their last two games, and are outscoring opponents by an average score of 78-59.
As a team, PSU is shooting 45 percent from the field and 37 percent from 3-point range. They are holding opponents to 40 percent shooting from the field, while holding advantages in rebounds (39-33) and turnovers (13-18) per game.
Pitt State is led in scoring by Mikaela Burgess, who is averaging 17.7 points per game. She is shooting 40 percent from the field and 37 percent from long range. Burgess leads the Gorilla women in 3-pointers made, with 64. She is averaging 3.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, while swiping the second-most steals, with 33.
Madison Northcutt is averaging 11.3 points while pulling down a team-high 8.2 rebounds per game. She has 20 steals and 11 blocks defensively.
Shelby Lopez’s 9.7 points per contest is third most on team, shooting 41.4 percent and making 55 shots from behind the 3-point line.
Haydn Herlocker is scoring 8.1 points a game and leads the Gorilla women with an average of 5.8 assists per game. Her five rebounds a game is third on the team, and her 44 steals defensively are the most of any PSU players.
Paige Lungwitz is putting up 8.9 points per game for Pitt State, to go along with 4.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per contest.
Athena Alvarado (5.9 ppg, 2.36 rpg, 20 blks), Paige Imhoff (2.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.5 apg) and Brenlee McPherson (5.8 ppg) have provided the Gorilla women with solid depth on the bench.
Central Missouri enters the game averaging 72.3 points per game as a team, holding opponents to 57.7.
Shooting 43 percent from the field, the Jennies are grabbing 35.6 rebounds per game and 12.3 turnovers.
UCM has a pair of scorers averaging double figures, with Paige Redmond leading the way with 16 per game. She is shooting 46 percent from the field and is making 40 percent of her shots from 3-point range, making a team-high 39 buckets from the perimeter. Redmond’s 4.1 assists per game is tops on the team.
Morgan Fleming is scoring 11.9 points per contest, shooting 43 percent.
Ashley Duffy is averaging 9.7 points, while Megan Skaggs (8.9 ppg), Kayonna Lee (8.1 ppg) and Sydney Crockett (7.9) gives the Jennies a solid starting rotation. Lee is the top rebounder on the team, averaging 8.4 rebounds a game.
YOUNG GORILLA MEN LOOK FOR SPARK AGAINST MULES
Pittsburg State men’s basketball (4-17, 2-11 MIAA) faces Central Missouri (15-6, 9-4 MIAA) at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday inside John Lance Arena in need of a spark to turn the season around.
The Gorilla men have battled injuries all season long, now without three starters for the season — Josiah Gustafson, Dakota Jones and Jaxon Holden.
Pitt State is scoring 65.9 points per contest, while allowing teams 73.6 points per game.
The Gorillas are shooting 43 percent from the field, and are led in scoring by Isaiah Hicks, who is averaging 10 points a game. He is second on the team in rebounds, pulling down 5.1 per game. Hicks has 18 steals and 11 blocks offensively.
Elijah Gaines is second in scoring, with 9.1 points per game. He is averaging four boards and one assist, leading the team in steals with 32 on the season.
R.J. Pair is averaging 8.1 points and 2.0 assists at the point guard position, while Creighton Brinker is scoring 7.4 a game and averaging a team-high 5.4 rebounds per contest. Brinker has 30 blocks to lead the Gorilla men.
Central Missouri is averaging 74 points a game, while holding opponents to 66.
Spencer Reaves leads UCM with 16.6 points per game, shooting 49.5 percent from the field and 39.4 percent from the perimeter. His 41 3-pointers puts him second on the team, behind Kyle Wolf’s 43 triples.
Wolf is averaging 12.3 points, shooting 54 percent from the field and 44.8 percent from long range.
Reaves (94) and Wolf (93) are second and third in rebounds, with Reaves’ 3.1 apg and 32 steals defensively are tops for UCM.
Marquiez Lawrence is averaging 9.9 points and has a team-high 6.1 rebounds per contest for the Mules, while D.J. Richardson is putting up 9.3 points and Jakob Lowrance is scoring 8.0 per game.
-- Lucas Davis is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on twitter @LDsportswriter.