The Missouri Southern women came into the jungle of Whetzel Court/John Lance Arena and took a 62-57 win Wednesday night over arch rival Pittsburg State with physical play and hustle siding toward the guests from Joplin.



The Gorillas came out flat at the start and the Lions outrebounded Pitt State 48-33, turning 17 offensive rebounds into 13 second-chance points.

The Missouri Southern women came into the jungle of Whetzel Court/John Lance Arena and took a 62-57 win Wednesday night over arch rival Pittsburg State with physical play and hustle siding toward the guests from Joplin.

The Gorillas came out flat at the start and the Lions outrebounded Pitt State 48-33, turning 17 offensive rebounds into 13 second-chance points.

Gone are the Gorillas’ five-game winning streak, their five-game winning streak against Southern and their six-game home court winning streak. Now, Pitt State (17-8, 11-6 MIAA) rests in a sixth-place tie with Fort Hays State (19-6, 11-6) with one game left.

“They were more aggressive,” Pitt State head coach Lane Lord said. “They were more physical. They wanted it really bad and they took it to us. We had trouble getting into any offensive flow and that had to do with their physicality. Give all the credit to Missouri Southern.

“We’ve played well on the defensive glass during this little five-game winning streak. Tonight, again credit Southern, they had 17 offensive rebounds and outrebounded us. We’ve done a great job during our little stretch here but I think that goes down to guts, effort, heart and determination and they had a little bit more than we did tonight.”

Pitt State senior post Lauren Brown, a key in the five-game winning streak, played only 11 minutes and was not an early factor. No. 24 grabbed six rebounds and blocked three shots but foul trouble played a factor in limiting her minutes.

“She really struggled tonight,” Lord said. “She came out really flat and our whole team came out flat. We’ve been going to her lately and we didn’t get the ball inside early. It hurt us. Our whole team, looked like we came out flat and that’s the head coach’s job, so I’ll take the blame for that.”

Sophomore forward Lizzy Jeronimus, the MIAA’s leading scorer, finished with 17 points but she had a brutal shooting night from the floor, nearly all of her 22 shot attempts challenged. She had a constant hand in her face and made only six field goals. Jeronimus — 5-6 at the line — attempted six of the Gorillas’ nine foul shots.

Missouri Southern senior Erin Rice might have been 4-12 from the field but all four of her shots proved to come at critical junctions in the contest. For example, she made a pair of late jumpers to give Southern 52-47 and 55-52 advantages.
Rice and her teammates simply made the plays and the shots in money time.

Dominique Mosley led the Lions with 12 points and she parlayed five offensive rebounds into eight total, second on the team behind the nine of Rice, who gathered all nine of her rebounds on the defensive end.

Fort Scott native Jolee Sharp added eight points for the Lions, six on 3s. She was one of three Lions who scored eight, joined by Rice and Nicole Hartzog. Sharese Jones added seven.

Pitt State guards Drew Roberts and Alexa Bordewick scored 12 and 11 points, respectively, and Morgan Westhoff added nine. Roberts reached career points 1,026 — only two behind No. 14 Megan Reid in Gorilla annals.

The Gorillas close out their regular season Saturday with Emporia State.

In other MIAA games Wednesday night, Emporia State defeated Washburn 61-48, Central Missouri defeated Truman State 58-56, Fort Hays State defeated Missouri Western 73-56, Northeastern State defeated Central Oklahoma 64-58, Lincoln defeated Lindenwood 72-56 and Northwest Missouri defeated Nebraska-Kearney 71-52.

Washburn (21-4, 15-2 MIAA) hosts Central Missouri (22-3, 14-3) on Saturday. Truman State and Emporia State have a fourth-place tie headed into the final day.