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Morning Sun
  • Tough night in Tahlequah

  • The Pittsburg State men trailed 34-26 at halftime and by as many as 12 points in the second half before making a valiant charge on Northeastern State and taking a 62-60 lead on a JaVon McGee putback with 1:35 remaining, their first lead since 25-23 at 6:20 of the first half.

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  • The Pittsburg State men trailed 34-26 at halftime and by as many as 12 points in the second half before making a valiant charge on Northeastern State and taking a 62-60 lead on a JaVon McGee putback with 1:35 remaining, their first lead since 25-23 at 6:20 of the first half.
    Landon DeMasters tied it up at 62 on a putback of a Bryton Hobbs miss. On the next Pitt State possession, Kaleb Porter missed a shot, Zach Jones of Northeastern State grabbed the rebound and Northeastern State called a timeout with 33 ticks left on the clock.
    With the shot clock running down and Pitt State leading shot blocker Rico Pierrevilus running at him, Hobbs banked one in high off the glass for a 64-62 lead with 6.6 seconds remaining.
    “I thought we defended it really well,” Pitt State head coach Kevin Muff told Eddie Lomshek of KKOW. “We told our bigs to stay home. . . . He made a big shot, we called a timeout and we gave ourselves an opportunity.”
    The Gorillas were able to get two good looks in before the buzzer: a potential game-winning 3-point shot by Courtney Ingram and a putback by Terrell Eaddy. Both shots would not fall and Northeastern State hung on 64-62 Wednesday night.
    “It really is (painful to come up short),” Muff said. “We haven’t done that on the road second semester. At Central, we didn’t give ourselves a chance at the end. At Southern, we didn’t give ourselves a chance at the end. So, now we put ourselves in a position and just not able to get it done.
    “An offensive rebound by them (DeMasters) and putback by them on a great defensive possession. The clock’s winding down, we had two guys stand there and look at it, they split us and it’s a matter of all night, go and get the ball. Chase, be aggressive. We outrebounded them but they had one or two guys assert themselves to the ball more than us.
    “I thought we were solid tonight. You hold this team under 70 and I don’t think they’ve won too many games under 70. We just didn’t get enough offense early in the game.”
    Hobbs led all scorers with 23 points and the junior point guard added three rebounds, three assists, four steals and one blocked shot. Hobbs made all four of his free throws; the RiverHawks shot 12-13 (.923) at the stripe.
    Senior forward Jermaine Bransford recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds. He added three assists, two steals and one block. Bransford slammed home a pair of dunks which seemed to spark Pitt State every bit as much as Northeastern State.
    Ethan Anderson scored 13 points for Northeastern State and his three 3-point shots proved key when the RiverHawks were rolling.
    Page 2 of 2 - McGee led Pitt State with a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds.
    “I thought JaVon had a great game,” Muff said. “I would have liked to see . . . he ends up with 11 boards . . . but I think he was one who could have been more aggressive on the glass. He’s so active for us and I ask a lot out of him. He has 14 and 11, you look at the stat line and that’s pretty dang good but he knows as well as I do he could have had a couple of those late. He got a nice offensive putback to put us in a position to take the lead.”
    Porter scored the ball the most for the Gorillas with 17 points, sparked by four 3-point shots, his best outside shooting performance in recent games.
    “It was so much better,” Muff said of Porter’s game Wednesday. “He asserted himself, he shot shots he should have been shooting, I don’t think he really forced any. The shot before the last one was a little quick but when Kaleb can get in the paint and make some plays like he makes and then hit those shots when people try to pack it, it gives us a whole different dimension offensively. I’m happy for Kaleb because we need Kaleb. Kaleb is a staple for us. He’s going to make us a great team. We’re a good team right now but he has the potential to make us great. We just need him to be more consistent.”
    Porter, a native of Tulsa, played in a town approximately 70 miles from home.
    Marky Nolen had 10 points, three rebounds and two steals. A.J. Adams scored nine points and feasted on DeMasters defending him.
    Pitt State dropped to 12-5, 5-4 MIAA and Northeastern State improved to 13-4, 6-3.
    In other games Wednesday night, Central Missouri remained on top of the MIAA with a 72-60 win over Missouri Western and Emporia State handed Missouri Southern its second consecutive loss with a 76-62 win.
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