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  • PSU opens conference play

  • The Pittsburg State Gorillas open Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play tonight with a doubleheader against the Central Oklahoma Bronchos, a new member of the conference this year.

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  • The Pittsburg State Gorillas open Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play tonight with a doubleheader against the Central Oklahoma Bronchos, a new member of the conference this year.
    The Pitt State women (5-1), now ranked No. 11 in the WBCA/USA Today coaches’ poll after being No. 3, dropped their first game last Wednesday against William Jewell 68-66 and battled down to the wire with Quincy (Ill.) for a 71-65 win on Saturday.
    Sophomore forward Lizzy Jeronimus leads Pitt State with a 20.5 scoring average and ranks second on the team in rebounds (5.7 per game), assists (13) and steals (8). She also leads the Gorillas in free throw percentage (31-34, 91.2 percent) and ranks among team leaders in field goal percentage (45-82, 54.9 percent).
    Jeronimus ranks tied for 18th in NCAA-II in scoring average, tied with fellow sophomores Ciara Geiger of Urbana and Kaitlynn Fratz of Pitt.-Johnstown. Kearah Jeffreys of Shaw leads the nation in scoring at 25 points per game. No. 42 maintained her lead among MIAA players.
    In six games this season, both times Jeronimus did not lead Pitt State in scoring, fellow sophomore Morgan Westhoff did with 17 points in the season opener against Southwest Minnesota and 16 against William Jewell. Westhoff leads the deep Pitt State bench with 9.7 points per game and she’s currently shooting 42.3 percent from long range (11-26).
    Senior leaders Lauren Brown and Drew Roberts — despite a decline in production against William Jewell and Quincy last week — rank third and fourth in scoring with 8.5 and 8.3 points per game, respectively.
    Sophomore guard Hailey Roderique provides a football player’s mentality on defense and her all-around game involves 6.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.5 assists per game. She’s made 52.2 percent of her shots, 12-23.
    True freshman post Kylie Gafford averages 5.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks. She leads Pitt State with a 56.5 field goal percentage. Her ability to get out on the floor and guard more perimeter-oriented bigs make her a defensive alternative to the 6-foot-6 Brown, who feels most comfortable defending her paint and her basket.
    Pitt State allows 54.2 points per game, tied for 34th in NCAA-II.
    Central Oklahoma enters John Lance Arena with a matching 5-1 record — five straight wins over Cameron (88-66), Angelo State (67-64), Texas Woman’s (59-35), Southern Nazarene (86-69) and Oklahoma Baptist (73-58) after a season-opening loss to Minnesota-Duluth (64-44) in San Antonio. The Bronchos have won two away games and two neutral-site games.
    Three players score in double figures for the Bronchos: Alyssa Fuxa 15.8, McKenzie Solberg 10.5 and Jill Bryan 10.3. Fuxa scored a season-high 28 against Cameron and had 17 against Minnesota-Duluth and Oklahoma Baptist.
    The Bronchos have played in front of a total of 1,280 fans in six games this season. The Gorillas average 1,322 attendance in four home games.
    In the game last season, Pitt State won 76-71. Six players scored in double figures for Pitt State — Jeronimus 15, Brooke Conley 14, Westhoff 13, Larissa Richards 12, Roberts 11 and Courtney Tate 10 — and Bryan led Central Oklahoma with 17. The Bronchos led 41-34 at halftime but Pitt State outscored Central Oklahoma 42-30 in the second half.
    Page 2 of 2 - Pitt State men
    The Gorillas (5-1) have the third-best scoring offense in the MIAA — 80.8 points, behind Washburn (81.8) and Lindenwood (85.8).
    Pitt State remains the conference leader in free throws made (155, nearly 26 per contest) and their 155 makes are more than 14 MIAA teams. For example, Lincoln has attempted 128 free throws after eight games, two more games than Pitt State.
    The Gorillas are tied for fourth in the MIAA in 3-point percentage, hitting 28 or 40 percent of their 70 attempts. Pitt State ranks tied for first in offensive rebounding (14.7 per game) and fourth in defensive rebounding (28.5).
    Freshman point guard Kaleb Porter went scoreless for the first time in his brief career last Wednesday and his 17.8 scoring average ranks sixth in the MIAA. He committed five turnovers against William Jewell, bringing his season total to 24 turnovers in six games played.
    Sophomore point guard Sam Pugh scored a career-high 14 in the 74-69 overtime win and had only two turnovers in 37 minutes.
    Porter still ranks ninth in field goal percentage (32-37, 86.5) and tied for fifth in 3-point percentage (13-25, .520).
    Senior guard Courtney Ingram ranks second on Pitt State with 11.5 points per
    game, plus 4.8 rebounds and 80.6 free throw percentage (29-36).
    Junior college transfer A.J. Adams came through in the clutch against William Jewell, his tip-in to force overtime as time expired in regulation. Adams averages 10.0 points and 5.5 rebounds.
    Senior forwards Rico Pierrevilus and JaVon McGee average 9.0 and 8.8 points, as well as 4.2 and 8.0 rebounds, respectively. Pugh and freshman Jake Bullard score 5.8 and 5.7 per game, respectively.
    Central Oklahoma enters with a 1-5 record, five straight losses (Oklahoma City 68-66, Mid-America Christian 87-84, Drury 87-57, Missouri-St. Louis 90-76 and Oklahoma Christian 80-78) after a season-opening 88-70 win over Southwestern Christian. The Bronchos are 0-1 away from Edmond.
    Five players average double figures for the Bronchos: Spencer Smith 14.0, Josh Gibbs 13.2, Jamell Cormier 11.5, Josh Davis 10.8 and Seth Heckart 10.3. Each of the five players have taken turns leading their team in scoring: Gibbs 18 against Southwestern Christian and 24 against Oklahoma Christian, Heckart 15 against Oklahoma City, Smith 22 against Mid-America Christian, Davis 15 against Drury and Cormier 24 against Missouri-St. Louis.
    Central Oklahoma won 79-72 against Pitt State last year. Davis led the Bronchos with 16 points, eight rebounds and three steals, and Central Oklahoma shot 64.1 percent (25-39) from the field. Meanwhile, Pitt State made 42.9 percent (24-56) of its shots and among returning players, Ingram had 13 points, Pugh eight points and six assists, and McGee six points, four rebounds and one steal.

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