PITTSBURG — It was a difficult night for the Pittsburg State basketball teams, but the Gorillas managed to pull out one of two games on the road against Lincoln Thursday, as the women fought through adversity in the 69-61 win before the men lost 75-70.
PSU WOMEN HANG ON TO BEAT BLUE TIGERS
A hot start for the Pitt State (12-4) women’s team was matched by the Blue Tigers (3-12) in a closely-contested contest, but the Gorillas held on for a 69-61 win on the road.
Both teams were matching each other point-for-point to in the first half before PSU took over in the second, out scoring Lincoln 21-18 in the third quarter and 16-11 in the fourth.
Lincoln opened up the contest with a 3-pointer, but the Gorillas tied the score in the next possession with a 3-pointer of their own from Mikaela Burgess who went on to score four more points to help PSU mount a 12-5 lead.
The Blue Tigers trailed by four at the end of the first quarter and took the lead at 25-22 by out scoring Pitt State 9-3 in the opening minutes of the second.
A 3-pointer for the Gorillas by Paige Imhoff tied the score at 25-all, before it was pushed to a 32-32 tie at halftime following a 3-pointer by Meghan Maher and a layup from Brenlee McPherson.
Lincoln took the lead on a pair of free throws to begin the second half, but fell behind 38-34 following five consecutive points from Shelby Lopez and a free throw by Imhoff.
The Gorillas held onto a three-point lead at the end of the third quarter, before starting the fourth with six consecutive points scored between Madison Northcutt, Athena Alvarado and Lopez which increased the margin to 59-50.
The Blue Tigers pulled to within five points of the lead with one minute remaining in regulation, but Pitt State held on in the end thanks to free throws from Lopez and Imhoff.
Imhoff led the Gorillas in scoring with 16 points in addition to five assists, four steals and two rebounds.
Lopez and Northcutt also finished in double digits with 14 and 11 points respectively.
LINCOLN EDGES PITT STATE MEN
The Blue Tigers (8-8) were red hot early in their 75-70 win over the Gorillas (9-7), as they made 7-14 from deep in the first half before outscoring PSU 12-2 in the final four minutes of the contest.
The Gorillas were able to keep pace with the Blue Tigers in the early going with the score tied at 23-apiece — following a 3-pointer by Jabari Antwine — 10 minutes into the contest.
Lincoln began to gain momentum and mounted a double-digit advantage on the strength of a 14-2 run, but the Gorillas pulled back to within two points at the end of the first half before taking the lead at 40-37 on a 3-pointer by Grant Lozoya to begin the second.
Lozoya’s 3-pointer capped off what was 15 consecutive points for Pitt State, which also included five points from Xavier Adams.
The Blue Tigers rallied back to regain the lead at 63-62 at the five-minute mark of the second half following back-to-back 3-pointers.
A layup and a free throw by Adams gave the Gorillas a two-point lead with four minutes remaining in regulation, but it would be their last, as the Blue Tigers struck for two more 3-pointers en route to outscoring PItt State 12-2 down the stretch.
Adams notched a double-double, scoring 24 points to go along with 13 rebounds, three blocks, two assists and one steal.
Demetrius Levarity and Lozoya also finished in double digits with 14 and 11 points respectively.
The Gorillas will wrap up their road trip with a game against Lindenwood at 1:30 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.