MARYVILLE, Mo. — A road trip for the Pittsburg State basketball teams on Thursday saw the Gorillas take one of two against Northwest Missouri, with the women’s team winning 73-62 and the men losing 78-64.
GORILLA WOMEN HANG ON LATE
A late rally by Northwest Missouri came up short in the 11-point victory for the Gorilla women, which improves their winning streak to seven games.
What was once a 10-point lead for PSU in the early going of the fourth was trimmed to four, but the Gorillas held on by out scoring the Bearcats 10-3 in the final five minutes.
After six lead changes in the opening 10 minutes of regulation, the Gorillas took control with a 14-3 which led them to a 31-22 advantage.
The run was highlighted by five points from Mikaela Burgess and included four points by Madison Northcutt.
A 10-3 run by Northwest made trimmed the deficit to one near the end of the first half, but Pitt State pulled away again by out scoring the Bearcats 14-10 to push the score to 52-45.
The Gorillas went on to seal the win in the fourth quarter, despite one last offensive surge by the Bearcats, with help from three free throws by Paige Imhoff.
Six Gorilla women scored in double digits, with Northcutt leading the way at a team-high 14 points, seven rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Lopez finished close behind with 13 points, while her teammates Imhoff and Burgess each had 12 apiece.
Brenlee McPherson and Athena Alvarado each contributed 11 points apiece.
GORILLA MEN STRUGGLE IN FIRST HALF
It was a tale of two halfs for the PSU men’s team, as the Gorillas stumbled out of the gate with 34% shooting from the floor and 1-for-10 from behind the arc in the first half.
The Bearcats’ tight defense led to an early 20-point deficit, which the Gorillas couldn’t climb back from despite posting 38 points on 46% shooting in the second half.
Pitt State trailed by 23 points in the first half before climbing back to within 10 in the second, but couldn’t complete the comeback in the 78-64 loss.
After falling behind by double digits in the opening minutes of the contest, the Gorillas began to fight back by out scoring the Bearcats 10-3 in the final two minutes of the first half — with help from five points by Donovan Franklin — to make the score 43-26.
The Gorillas went on to keep pace with Northwest Missouri in the second half and pulled to within 10 points of the Bearcats with one minute remaining in regulation following a 9-2 run.
The run came too late for the Gorillas, as with under a minute remaining, the Northwest drained the clock to hang on for the win.
Demetrius Levarity led the way on offense with 17 points to go along with three rebounds and three steals.
Franklin also finished in double figures with 12 points, four rebounds, four steals and one assist.
The Gorillas will continue their road trip with a match up against Missouri Western beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
— 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.