Morning Sun
  • Bench sparks Gorillas to victory

  • In the first half Saturday afternoon, Pittsburg State struggled with its defensive rotations against the Southwestern College Moundbuilders.

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  • In the first half Saturday afternoon, Pittsburg State struggled with its defensive rotations against the Southwestern College Moundbuilders.
    Southwestern freshman shooting guard Taylor Johnson alone drilled five 3-pointers for all 15 of his points and Southwestern trailed 35-34 at halftime.
    Pitt State refocused its energies, closed out more on the opposing shooters, created some turnovers, and built a lead by getting out in transition and hitting the offensive glass for second-chance points and free throw opportunities, en route to a 73-60 win at Whetzel Court/John Lance Arena.
    “I thought they (Ethan Cordray and Sam Pugh) brought good energy,” Pitt State head coach Kevin Muff said. “I thought Terrell (Eaddy) did the same thing when he got in the game. They played extremely hard. As a coaching staff, that’s what we’re looking for right now, guys that will play hard. . . .
    “We don’t have a real sense of urgency. We’re not good enough. Right now, defensively, we’re not nearly as intent on getting stops every possession as we need to be whether it’s inside or outside.”
    Pitt State bench players Ethan Cordray, Sam Pugh, Terrell Eaddy and Rico Pierrevilus provided a lift, combining for all 25 bench points.
    Cordray, who played all 11 of his minutes in the second half, scored a PSU career-high five points and the combination of Cordray and Pugh on the perimeter helped slow down Southwestern on the perimeter. Pugh had a solid all-around game — eight points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
    Eaddy scored a PSU career-high seven points and Pierrevilus added five points, three rebounds and two steals, despite being saddled with foul trouble.
    In the first half, Southwestern made 51.9 percent (14-27) of its shots overall and 46.2 percent (6-13) from 3-point range. Johnson found himself open five times and he made all five 3-point attempts; Pitt State kept Johnson off the scoreboard in the second half and the guard missed all four shot attempts.
    Pitt State freshman point guard Kaleb Porter led all scorers with 17 points and had three rebounds, two assists and one steal. Porter scored in double figures for the fifth straight game.
    Steady senior guard Courtney Ingram scored 13 points, finishing in double figures for the third straight contest. Ingram (6-foot-3 senior from Tulsa) added six rebounds and two assists.
    Senior forward JaVon McGee finished with a double-double of 11 points and 15 rebounds, plus a team-high three steals in addition to his game-high rebound total.
    Pitt State (4-1) closes out its pre-conference schedule Wednesday night against William Jewell. Defensive issues, turnovers and consistency have plagued the Gorillas even during their wins and the expanded Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association landscape offers a challenging road.
    “With new teams, sometimes you struggle with an identity and what exactly it is a coach wants,” Muff said. “I’ve given them more freedom defensively than last year’s team and maybe we just need to tighten it down and make it simple, just take care of your responsibilities, guard your guy and not worry about rotations. Last year, we did a pretty good job of that. . . .
    Page 2 of 2 - “It’s got to get better and we challenged these guys after the game. We’ve got one more nonconference game and then it’s for real. We better find out in a hurry what we’re about and be ready to go.”
    William Tisdale led Southwestern with 16 points, seven rebounds and one blocked shot. Tisdale, a sophomore from Holland Hall High School in Tulsa, netted 10 points after halftime.
    That last name might sound familiar. Tisdale’s father, William, was a McDonald’s All-American at Booker T. Washington High and played for the University of Oklahoma. His uncle, the late great Wayman (1964-2009), won Big Eight Player of the Year three times in his three-year career for OU (1983-1985), won Olympic gold in 1984 alongside Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing, was the second pick in the 1985 NBA Draft behind Ewing, averaged 15.3 points in his 12-year NBA career with the Indiana Pacers, the Sacramento Kings and the Phoenix Suns, and went on to a successful jazz career before his death from bone cancer.
    SOUTHWESTERN (60) — William Tisdale 5-8 4-6 16, Taylor Johnson 5-9 0-0 15, Michael Morales 4-12 1-4 9, Cayd Bloomquist 3-8 1-2 9, Tyler Shirley 2-4 1-4 5, Cameron Clark 1-3 2-2 4, Bryan Lipsey 0-0 2-2 2, Larry Vasquez 0-3 0-0 0, Alex Tyler 0-1 0-0 0, Jordan Giddings 0-0 0-0 0, Isaiah Thaw 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-48 11-20 60.
    PITTSBURG STATE (73) — Kaleb Porter 6-12 2-2 17, Courtney Ingram 4-10 5-6 13, JaVon McGee 4-10 3-4 11, Sam Pugh 3-4 1-4 8, Terrell Eaddy 2-3 2-4 7, A.J. Adams 2-7 1-2 5, Ethan Cordray 2-4 1-1 5, Rico Pierrevilus 2-3 1-2 5, Jake Bullard 1-6 0-0 2, Denton Hays 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 26-61 16-25 73.
    Halftime — PSU 35, SWC 34. 3-point goals — SWC 9-23 (Johnson 5-7, Tisdale 2-4, Bloomquist 2-5, Shirley 0-1, Vasquez 0-1, Morales 0-5), PSU 5-14 (Porter 3-5, Eaddy 1-1, Pugh 1-2, Pierrevilus 0-1, Cordray 0-2, Bullard 0-3). Rebounds — SWC 30 (Tisdale 7), PSU 41 (McGee 15). Assists — SWC 13 (Tyler 4), PSU 11 (Porter, Ingram, Pugh 2). Turnovers — SWC 18, PSU 13. Steals — SWC 4 (Tyler 3), PSU 12 (McGee 3). Blocked shots — SWC 2, PSU 2. Personal fouls — SWC 15, PSU 16. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — none. A — 711.

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