Morning Sun
  • A golden performance

  • Entering their game Saturday, the Pittsburg State women were shooting 30.5 percent from 3-point range (62-203).

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  • Entering their game Saturday, the Pittsburg State women were shooting 30.5 percent from 3-point range (62-203).
    In the first half against Northwest Missouri, the Gorillas came out firing early and often, parlaying five 3-pointers (shooting 55.6 percent, 25.1 percent above par) into a 39-27 halftime lead en route to a 76-47 win Saturday afternoon at Whetzel Court/John Lance Arena.
    “We just played a dominant team effort today,” Pitt State head coach Lane Lord said. “Just an unbelievable performance.”
    Alexa Bordewick, fresh off one of her best games of the year Thursday, hit a pair of 3s and scored 10 first-half points. Her second 3 gave Pitt State its biggest lead of the first half, 36-21.
    “I’ve been struggling all this season,” Bordewick said. “But I think it’s coming back to me finally. It feels good.”
    Pittsburg native and St. Mary's Colgan graduate Lisa Elmer found herself open for a corner 3 late in the first half and she drained it to give Pitt State its 39-27 halftime lead, ending a 6-0 Northwest run.
    Northwest led all of 18 seconds in the first half and kept in the game with eight offensive rebounds. Northwest missed six free throws during a well-rounded bad shooting first half.
    Pitt State fed off the electric crowd and the emotional floor dedication to the Whetzels, continuing its defense from the Nebraska-Kearney win on Thursday and generating one of its better offensive performances since a 97-51 season-opening win over Southwest Minnesota at John Lance Arena.
    “We even had fans getting up and getting excited a little bit today and that’s fun to hear,” Lord said. “You could tell our kids fed off that energy. What an exciting morning. I know the pancake feed was great but the dedication to the Whetzels was awesome. It really means a lot to them to see us happy. . . . We’re just so thankful to them. They made this gym possible. . . . It was neat to see the community come out. We always brag that we have the best fans in the country but for them to come out and support the Whetzels this morning and support both basketball teams is awesome.”
    “That whole crowd filled up a hour before the game and so we’re all like ‘Yeah,’” Bordewick said. “This is cool. I think we were extra motivated to get out and play good for our fans today. A lot of fans came today.”
    “There were so many of our past associates here at Pittsburg State, we were amazed to see all these people come early, come from Kansas City, come from all over to be here to celebrate with us,” Roberta Whetzel said. “It was really nice. The Gorilla Nation has always managed to show up at the right time. It was great.”
    Page 2 of 4 - Sophomore forward Lizzy Jeronimus hit a 3 to open the second half scoring and the Gorillas led 42-27.
    In the first 3:10 of the second half, senior post Lauren Brown grabbed seven rebounds (doubling her entire first-half output) and her putback gave Pitt State a 46-27 lead, its biggest lead up to that point.
    Propelled by 15 rebounds after halftime, Brown finished with a school single-game record 22 rebounds, smashing the mark of 19 held by Darlene Champ (Emporia State, 1986) and Jaimee Bohannon (Missouri Western, 2000).
    Brown now owns or shares single-game records in rebounds and blocked shots (eight, shared with Bethany Turnbull). Her teammates knew more about the record than did Brown.
    “On the bench, they said that she’s one away from tying the school record but don’t tell her,” Bordewick said. “That’s how I knew.”
    “I want to do whatever for our team, just to help us win,” Brown said. “We needed it and I’m glad we got it. . . . No, I didn’t even think about it (her number of rebounds). I just wanted to play.”
    No. 24 played a career-high 32 minutes, partly because of the absence of freshman post Kylie Gafford (hurt in the Nebraska-Kearney game) and partly because of her game-changer status.
    “We’re down a post player in freshman Kylie Gafford,” Lord said. “We’re real excited about Kylie. Hopefully, we’ll get her back next week. We needed Lauren to play 25 minutes today and all she did was play 32, which is a career high. I couldn’t be more proud of her and what she did for us today.
    “A lot of people don’t see this because there’s no stats to show it. Lauren Brown alters the game. She’s 6-foot-6, which is like a 7-2 guy. She alters the game. She helps us defensively. We play a 1-man zone with her.
    “In the second half, we had to make a little bit of an adjustment at halftime because their 6-3 gal (Maggie Marnin) was actually stepping out and making shots. Their smaller post player, No. 34 (Annie Mathews) was doing more of the posting and we switched it. We put Lauren on the smaller one and Lizzy on the taller one. It seemed to really help and it’s tough to shoot over Lauren Brown when you’re 5-11. She did a great job.”
    Bordewick led all scorers with 20 points and joining No. 22 in double figures were Jeronimus (14) and Drew Roberts (10).
    All 12 Pitt State players reached the scoring column Saturday with Brown adding eight points to her prodigious rebounding effort.
    “Every single person scored on our team today,” Bordewick said. “It starts with our defense and then we can run out in transition. Everyone was wide open and everyone was hitting shots today.”
    Page 3 of 4 - The Gorillas had 18 assists on 29 made field goals with five assists each from Jeronimus and Roberts.
    “We looked down at halftime and we had 10 assists,” Lord said. “As a coaching staff, when you look out there and all five players on your team have touched the ball on one possession, that’s awesome. We were moving the ball, getting the ball into the middle against that zone and making great decisions out of that zone. Lizzy only had 14 tonight but she had five assists, really shared the ball well and found the open shooters.”
    “How about that,” Roberta Whetzel said. “Lane had those people ready to go, didn’t he? This is a lot of pressure for those kids between a big crowd, national television, all these people. They were just remarkable. They just had it all together. Their passing, I was so impressed. These people came out there and passed the basketball and look where it got them.”
    Tember Schechinger led Northwest with 13 points and center Maggie Marnin finished with 10 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.
    Pitt State won its third straight game to improve to 9-3 overall and 3-1 in the MIAA. Northwest dropped to 8-4, 2-2.
    NOTES: Halftime music selection — "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles (first music video played on MTV) . . . Lauren Brown grabbed seven rebounds in a span of 3:10 in the second half . . . At that rate over 40 minutes, Brown would have 90 rebounds . . . As it was, Brown finished with a school record 22 rebounds in a career-high 32 minutes played . . . Alexa Bordewick scored a career-high 20 points and wisely deflected a postgame press conference question about the referees with a “no comment,” especially wise since Bob Boerigter, MIAA Commissioner, was in the media room at that moment . . . Her previous career standard was 16 points . . . Head coach Lane Lord (not "Ford") joked that he was wearing his bowling shirt for Saturday's game . . . Hometown girls Lisa Elmer and Kristina Willis played well in front of the home crowd . . . Elmer four points and one rebound, Willis two points, one rebound and one assist . . . With its 62-58 win Saturday over Central Oklahoma, Washburn remained the lone unbeaten in conference play . . . Pitt State remains in a tie for second place.
    No. 17 GORILLAS 76, BEARCATS 47
    NORTHWEST MISSOURI (47) — Tember Schechinger 5-9 2-2 13, Maggie Marnin 4-11 2-2 10, Monique Stevens 2-7 3-6 7, Alexis Boeh 3-7 0-0 6, Meridee Scott 1-3 3-3 6, Annie Mathews 1-8 1-3 3, Ashleigh Nelson 1-7 0-2 3, Denise McEnaney 0-1 0-0 0, Ashley Thayer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-53 11-18 47.
    PITTSBURG STATE (76) — Alexa Bordewick 7-12 2-2 20, Lizzy Jeronimus 5-11 2-3 14, Drew Roberts 5-13 0-0 10, Lauren Brown 4-9 0-0 8, Y'Cedria Devers 2-3 1-2 5, Lisa Elmer 1-1 1-2 4, Hailey Roderique 1-3 2-2 4, Cathy Brugman 1-1 0-0 3, Brigit Hesser 1-3 0-0 3, Morgan Westhoff 1-6 0-0 3, Kristina Willis 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 29-64 8-11 76.
    Page 4 of 4 - Halftime — PSU 39, NW 27. 3-point goals — NW 2-13 (Nelson 1-3, Schechinger 1-4, Stevens 0-3, Scott 0-2, McEnaney 0-1), PSU 10-20 (Bordewick 4-8, Jeronimus 2-2, Brugman 1-1, Elmer 1-1, Hesser 1-2, Westhoff 1-3, Roberts 0-2, Roderique 0-1). Rebounds — NW 30 (Marnin 9), PSU 46 (Brown 22). Assists — NW 12 (Stevens 3), PSU 18 (Jeronimus, Roberts 5). Turnovers — NW 16, PSU 15. Steals — NW 6 (Boeh, Schechinger 3), PSU 2. Blocked shots — NW 4 (Marnin 3), PSU 2. Personal fouls — NW 15, PSU 16. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — none. A — 2,652.

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