DENVER, Co. — Altitude wasn’t an issue for the Pittsburg State women’s basketball team in Denver over the weekend, as the Gorillas picked up a pair of wins over Regis 73-61 on Friday and Colorado Mines 60-50 on Saturday.
GORILLAS WIN BIG OVER RANGERS
The Gorillas earned their fifth consecutive win of the season with a 73-61 victory over Regis on Friday in the first of two games in Colorado.
Following a slow start to the game, the Gorillas managed to build a double-digit lead and held it through the third quarter before keeping the Rangers at bay in the fourth to get the win.
Both teams struggled to get offense going in the opening quarter, but the Gorillas ended it holding a 16-10 lead.
A layup by Paige Imhoff and a 3-pointer by Burgess put the Gorillas up 5-0 in the first two minutes of the game.
Pitt State went on to keep the Rangers in check for the rest of the first quarter, holding a two-point advantage at the three-minute mark.
The Gorillas went on to take a 16-10 lead into second quarter, thanks to a pair of layups by Athena Alvarado and Maya Williams.
Mikaela Burgess scored the first six points for the Gorillas in the second quarter, as an 11-2 run increased their lead to 30-17 with under four minutes remaining before the half.
Regis went on outscore the Gorillas 6-5 in the final three minutes of the second quarter to take a 35-23 deficit into the locker room at halftime.
The Raiders hit their stride in the second half, as they narrowed the lead to 10 in the first three minutes of the third quarter before coming to within eight on the strength of 11 consecutive points.
A free throw by Imhoff, a layup by Elena Flott and a 3-pointer by Burgess increased the lead back to double digits at 55-41 and a pair of free throws to end the third quarter by the Raiders pushed the score to 55-53 heading into the final 10 minutes of regulation.
Regis quickly narrowed the margin to nine with a 3-pointer to begin the fourth quarter, before coming to within seven points of the lead at 67-60 with less than five minutes remaining.
The Gorillas went on to outscore the Rangers 6-1 in the final four minutes of the contest to hang on for the win.
LOPEZ LEADS GORILLAS TO WIN OVER MINES
Despite stumbling out of the gate and falling behind 10-0 in the opening minutes of the game, Pitt State managed to get earn the 60-50 win over Colorado Mines with the help of 24 points by Shelby Lopez.
The Gorillas trailed by one at the half, but got back on track in the third quarter, outscoring the Mines by nine in the second half.
A 3-pointer by Williams put the Gorillas on the scoreboard after a six-minute drought and sparked an 11-0 run to put PSU on top 11-10 at the end of the first quarter.
The run included three points by Williams, five points by Burgess, two by Madison Northcutt and one by Lopez.
Colorado regained the lead at 14-11 after scoring the first four points of the second quarter, but the Gorillas went on to go up by two at 22-20 with a 6-1 run.
The Mines cut the deficit to one at the end of the second quarter, before Lopez put Pitt State back in the lead at 27-23 with a 3-pointer to begin the second half.
Colorado slowly climbed back into the driver’s seat by outscoring PSU 12-6 after the 3-pointer to hold a 35-33 advantage, but a 3-pointer by Lopez sparked a 10-2 run by the Gorillas to give them a 43-37 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The Gorillas never gave up the lead again, as they held off an 8-3 run by the Mines halfway through the fourth quarter, outscoring them 9-3 down the stretch.
Lopez went 8-10 from the field — with four coming from behind the arc — while contributing four rebounds and three assists in the win.
Pitt State will play the first conference game of the season against Nebraska-Kearney at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.