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Morning Sun
  • Newman attacks Gorillas, earns 10-point win

  • The Newman Jets entered attack mode early on Tuesday night against Pittsburg State and stayed in that mode for most of the night, scoring the first 10 points of the game and forcing 29 Pitt State turnovers en route to a 89-79 win at John Lance Arena.

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  • The Newman Jets entered attack mode early on Tuesday night against Pittsburg State and stayed in that mode for most of the night, scoring the first 10 points of the game and forcing 29 Pitt State turnovers en route to a 89-79 win at John Lance Arena.
    Those 29 turnovers and the way Pitt State handled pressure frustrated Pitt State head coach Kevin Muff perhaps more than anything else Tuesday.
    “We’ve seen a little bit of press,” Muff said. “But we haven’t seen 94 feet like that 40 minutes. He’s (Newman head coach Mark Potter) got them believing in the platoon situation where they all come in and they all play their role. They’ve got a good mix.
    “They took us out of what we wanted to do and took away some of our aggressiveness. I don’t think we adjusted well to the way the game was called. I don’t have any problem with the way the game was called. It was called both ways extremely physical and they were the more physical team.”
    Newman scored the first 10 points of the game in 1 minute, 29 seconds. Trae Beck drained a pair of 3-pointers and Marquis Cuyler scored four points on two free throws and a jumper. This early stretch established a tone and despite improved play by Pitt State for the rest of the first half, the Gorillas could not overcome that early deficit and could not achieve a tie score.
    Newman built on its 45-38 halftime lead with another scoring run, this one 10-3 the first 2:26 after halftime. The Jets led by as many as 20 points twice, the second time at the 11:54 mark of the second half.
    “We’ve got to show some composure,” Muff said. “We need to show some discipline. We need to show that we are a good team. I think we’ve got guys who want this to be a good year. Now, we’ve got to point them in the direction of how to make it a good year.”
    Statistics: 10 of 11 Pitt State players who saw time committed at least one turnover against Newman and point guards Kaleb Porter and Sam Pugh combined for 11 turnovers. The starting Newman backcourt of Bobby Wesley and Darrell Traylor forced several turnovers and combined for 10 steals (Traylor six, Wesley four).
    Pitt State will likely be seeing more pressure defense from opponents in future games.
    “We’ve won three games and I even thought the three games we won were a little bit of a facade,” Muff said. “There were a lot of weaknesses and some of those teams we played the first three games didn’t exploit it like Newman did tonight here. Give them credit. They played extremely well.”
    Wesley led Newman with 20 points and his superb all-around night included two rebounds, four steals and four assists, as well as 5-for-7 shooting from the field, 2-2 from 3-point range and 8-10 at the foul line. When a big play was needed to be made for Newman, seemingly No. 3 made it.
    Page 2 of 2 - Eight players scored at least seven points for the Jets. Cuyler joined Wesley in double figures with 14 points and Traylor finished with eight points, five rebounds, six steals and three assists.
    Porter led Pitt State with 26 points but also had six turnovers and four personal fouls as Newman guards like Wesley and Traylor dogged the freshman and reigning MIAA Player of the Week.
    Courtney Ingram had 18 points and six rebounds, a 6-8 night from the floor offset by a 5-9 performance shooting free throws. JaVon McGee added 12 points and nine rebounds. A.J. Adams scored 10 points before fouling out with 7:49 left in the game.
    “Our guys have to remember they are a work in progress,” Muff said. “We are in the process of finding out who wants to play. We’re giving a lot of guys a lot of opportunities right now to find out who we can depend on to give us what we need night in, night out. We’ve got personnel, players on this team who are good enough and we’ll get there. We’ll get there.”
    Pitt State (3-1) plays again Saturday afternoon on its home floor against Southwestern College (NAIA), a 3 p.m. tip.
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