PITTSBURG — A week off for Christmas break worked out for the Pittsburg State women’s basketball team, as the Gorillas bounced back from the loss a week ago with an 84-35 win over Oklahoma Wesleyan on Wednesday inside John Lance Arena.
Following a slow start to the contest, the Gorillas pulled away by out scoring the Eagles 22-2 in the second quarter en route to coasting to a big win.
“I think the most important thing after being off eight days was just getting up and down the court to see how conditioned we were,” PSU head coach Lane Lord said. “I was really impressed with them. I think they were working out over the holiday break. We didn’t look too out of shape after having all of the home-cooked meals. They came out focused, played outstanding defense and just really got us going.”
Pitt State set the tone with a 3-pointer by Mikaela Burgess in the opening minutes of the game and expanded the lead to 14-5 with eight consecutive points halfway through the first quarter.
The run was highlighted by a pair of 3-pointer by Shelby Lopez and Elena Flott.
PSU went on to score the last seven points of the first quarter and began the second with 18 consecutive points which pushed the lead to 39-9 with one minute remaining in the first half.
Oklahoma Wesleyan broke the scoring drought with a layup, but took a 41-11 deficit into halftime.
The Gorillas picked up right where they left off in the second half, as they began the third quarter with a 13-2 run with the help of a pair of layups by Brenlee McPherson and a 3-pointer by Paige Imhoff.
With several underclassmen on the floor, Pitt State outpaced the Eagles 21-12 in the third quarter and 22-12 in the fourth to earn the win.
“I was really proud of the younger players,” Lord said. “Maya Williams has been playing more minutes for us after being out with an ankle injury. It was good to see her back and she hit two big 3-pointers for us. Meghan Maher continues to get better each time she steps on the floor. We’re really going to have to lean on her throughout the grind of the season. I also thought Brenlee has been one of our most consistent players lately. We’ve been putting her in the starting lineup and she’s stepped up into that role.”
Burgess was the leading scorer for the Gorillas with 19 points, four rebounds and four assists.
Northcutt and McPherson also had a big hand in building the large lead with 13 and 11 points respectively.
The Gorillas will hit the road to take on Emporia State at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.