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Morning Sun
  • Gorillas win fifth straight

  • The Pittsburg State women seem to be clicking at exactly the right time.



    The Gorillas outscored host Central Oklahoma 39-27 after halftime en route to a 79-68 victory Saturday afternoon, giving Pitt State its fifth consecutive win.

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  • The Pittsburg State women seem to be clicking at exactly the right time.
    The Gorillas outscored host Central Oklahoma 39-27 after halftime en route to a 79-68 victory Saturday afternoon, giving Pitt State its fifth consecutive win.
    This five-game winning streak surpasses the two previous four-game streaks this season and helps Pitt State remain among the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association elite.
    “What’s neat about this game,” Pitt State head coach Lane Lord told Eddie Lomshek of KKOW 860. “It’s our last league game (on the road) and we have a winning record on the road in our league, 5-4, and not many teams in our league can say that. To win our last two on the road to get over .500 is awesome.
    “It was a huge win . . . (Central Oklahoma’s) a really good basketball team. They lose by one point to Northeastern, by four points to Washburn, this isn’t a bad basketball team. We were very fortunate that we had a great second half and picked up our defense.”
    With contributors Hailey Roderique, Cathy Brugman and Y’Cedria Devers out, the nine active Pitt State players have stepped up their game.
    Senior guard Drew Roberts surpassed 1,000 career points with her first three points of the day, as she came into Saturday stuck on 999 (not stuck for long).
    Roberts finished the day with 15 points, three rebounds and two assists.
    Roberts became the 16th women’s player to reach 1,000 — joining Katie Spieker (1,001), Megan Reid (1,028), Shelley Tanking (1,034), Janelle Klein (1,041), Terry Barto (1,226), Amanda Davied (1,229), Jenny Pracht (1,302), Lisa Cropper (1,399), Sandy Stegman (1,493), Ann Woloszyk (1,514), Kami Scrivner (1,559), Kelly Krumsick (1,584), Dani Fronabarger (1,687), Jenni Miller (1,809) and Leslie Dudley (2,046).
    No. 12 finished Saturday with 1,014 points.
    Senior post Lauren Brown continued to benefit from the focus on appeasing the basketball gods by working the ball inside before launching outside shots. She finished with 16 points, 14 rebounds, two assists and one steal.
    Brown stayed in the game against the perimeter-oriented bigs of Central.
    “It’s just like playing against SBU (Southwest Baptist) or Northeastern State,” Lord said. “All their players can shoot the ball from the perimeter but we don’t want to make a mistake like we did earlier in the year and take Lauren out of the game because we need her in the game. That was my fault earlier in the year against Missouri Western where they had people shooting from all over and we didn’t think Lauren could guard out there. Lauren can do anything she wants. She’s a freak athlete and she continues to get better this year.”
    Sophomore forward Lizzy Jeronimus struggled from the floor (4-13) but her 8-for-9 performance at the foul stripe resulted in 16 points. Her 10 rebounds gave Pitt State two players with double-doubles.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Gorillas outrebounded the Bronchos 48-34 and 18-9 on the offensive glass.
    Morgan Westhoff and Alexa Bordewick added nine points apiece, two perimeter players who definitely benefit from the interior strength of the Gorillas.
    Bordewick shot 15-25 from 3-point range her last four games.
    “These last four games, she’s been amazing,” Lord said. “She is playing her role like I’ve never seen. This game, the two in that spurt that gave us some breathing room to a 10-point game were the biggest shots of the night.”
    Central Oklahoma led 41-40 at the half, after Savannah Hamilton knocked down a 3 at the buzzer.
    “We needed to buckle down on defense,” Lord said. “It seemed like they were shooting 50 percent most of the game and we did a much better job in the second half. They went 9-for-28. . . . We went high-and-tight a little bit. We were playing them straight up at first and then we started switching screens.”
    Pitt State (17-7, 11-5 MIAA) ends its regular season next week at home with Missouri Southern (Wednesday) and Emporia State (Saturday). The Gorillas have a 9-2 mark at Whetzel Court/John Lance Arena this season; their last home loss was 70-62 to Central Oklahoma in December. Pitt State and Emporia State are currently tied for fifth in the MIAA.
    “I couldn’t be more proud of our group,” Lord said. “We’ve played our best basketball of the season here . . . shorthanded . . . they’ve all bought into trying to touch the post and our new motion offense, instead of the dribble-drive, and they’re all just coming together at the right time. We get to come home and show our fans once again how good we’ve gotten over the last month.”
    In other MIAA games Saturday, Truman State defeated Lincoln 70-59 and the Bulldogs improved to 19-5, 12-4 MIAA, just a game ahead of Pitt State in the conference standings. Becka McHenry led Truman State with 15 points, seven rebounds, six assists and 7-7 free throws, while Arriana Walker of Lincoln (conference leader in both assists and steals) was held to only two points.
    Washburn (21-3, 15-1 MIAA) became the first MIAA team to earn a bye to the conference tournament with a 61-41 win over Fort Hays State.
    Southwest Baptist upset Central Missouri 63-52, Missouri Western almost doubled up Nebraska-Kearney 71-36 and Northeastern State handed Emporia State its second consecutive loss 66-56.
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