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Morning Sun
  • PSU braces for road finale

  • The Pittsburg State basketball teams play their final road games of the regular season today against Central Oklahoma in Edmond.

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  • The Pittsburg State basketball teams play their final road games of the regular season today against Central Oklahoma in Edmond.
    Pitt State-Central Oklahoma opened Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play against each other back in early December (Dec. 6, to be exact) — the PSU men won 81-70 and the PSU women lost 70-62 at Whetzel Court/John Lance Arena.
    That loss dropped the Pitt State women to 5-2, 0-1 MIAA and improved Central Oklahoma to 6-1, 1-0.
    Boy, how times have changed.
    The Gorillas enter today 16-7 overall, 10-5 in the conference and riding the crest of a four-game winning streak — Truman State 63-48, Southwest Baptist 74-61, Northeastern State 78-60 and Emporia State 63-60.
    This is the third four-game winning streak of the season for Pitt State but the previous two streaks ended at four.
    Meanwhile, down in Edmond, the Bronchos stand at 9-13 overall, 2-12 MIAA.
    Central Oklahoma ended a 10-game losing streak with a 88-79 win over Lincoln at Hamilton Fieldhouse (Feb. 9).
    Since their win over Pitt State, the Bronchos have recorded a 3-12 mark with two of their wins coming against nonconference opponents in December, Midwestern State and Arkansas-Fort Smith.
    The Gorillas are tied for sixth in the top-heavy MIAA with Fort Hays State, both 10-5 in conference. Truman State and Emporia State are tied for fourth at 11-4, Northeastern State stands alone in third at 12-4, Central Missouri second at 13-2 and Washburn leads the pack at 14-1.
    The Bronchos are in 14th, currently on the outside looking in of the 12-team MIAA postseason tournament with three regular season games remaining.
    Sophomore forward Lizzy Jeronimus leads Pitt State with a 18.4 scoring average, 23 starts, 662 minutes played, 149 field goals made, 294 field goal attempts, 115 free throws made, 151 free throws attempted, 116 defensive rebounds, 64 assists, 68 turnovers and 25 steals.
    Jeronimus is the lone Gorilla to start all 23 games and her shot production in comparison with her teammates brings out some interesting numbers: her 149 field goals made are 74 more than Morgan Westhoff (next highest), her 294 field goals attempted are 117 more than Drew Roberts, her 115 free throws made are 79 more than Hailey Roderique and 92 more than Lauren Brown and her 151 free throws attempted are 105 more than Roderique and 103 more than Brown.
    No. 42 remains the official leading MIAA scorer, her 18.4 average 2.1 ahead of Taylor Lewis (Northeastern State) and 2.2 ahead of BreAnna Lewis (Central Missouri).
    Keuna Flax of Central Missouri averages 20.9 points per game but has played in 16 of the Mules’ 23 games, 70 percent of her team’s games played. She needs to play in 75 percent to qualify for the scoring title.
    Pitt State sophomore Morgan Westhoff ranks second on the Gorillas with 9.3 points per game and her 43 3-point shots lead the team.
    Senior post Lauren Brown averages 7.1 points and 7.8 rebounds but her averages the last five games are 12.6 points, 6.8 rebounds. The Gorillas have made a concerted effort to get the ball inside to their 6-foot-6 interior weapon since the second half of the Washburn loss.
    Page 2 of 3 - Drew Roberts, Alexa Bordewick and Kylie Gafford average 7.0, 6.0 and 5.5 points, respectively. Bordewick ranks second with 32 trifectas.
    Alyssa Fuxa leads Central Oklahoma with 12.1 points per game and six Broncho players average at least 5.9 — Jill Bryan 10.6, Britney Morgan 8.8, McKenzie Solberg 8.5, Savannah Hamilton 6.5 and Whitney Dunn 5.9.
    PSU men
    The Gorillas are 5-1 this season following a loss, meaning losing streaks have not been a part of the Gorillas’ 15-8 season.
    Freshman point guard Kaleb Porter leads the Gorillas with 14.0 points per game, 94 field goals made, 253 field goals attempted, 50 3-pointers made, 139 3-pointers attempted, 83 free throws made, 99 free throws attempted,  83.8 free throw percentage, 66 assists and 64 turnovers.
    Porter played one of his most complete games in the 88-82 loss to Emporia State on Wednesday — 21 points, five rebounds, seven assists (two turnovers) and five 3s.
    Early in the season, his turnovers surpassed his assists but the freshman from Tulsa now has more assists than turnovers. No. 3 averages 2.9 assists per game, as well as 3.1 rebounds.
    Senior forward JaVon McGee averages 13.0 points and 7.5 rebounds, second on Pitt State in scoring and first in rebounding. No. 44 averages over an assist and a steal per game.
    McGee increased his career numbers to 1,066 points and 696 rebounds with a 20-point, six-rebound effort against Emporia State.
    With McGee out for a four-game stretch, junior forward A.J. Adams picked up his game, at least offensively, and averaged 11.8 points, 2.5 rebounds over the last six games. He’s scored double figures in three of the last four.
    Courtney Ingram, Marky Nolen and Rico Pierrevilus, three seniors, have all had their big games — Ingram averages 10.6 points, Nolen 10.3 and Pierrevilus 9.2.
    Nolen scored a career-high 22 in the 89-59 win over Northeastern State. Pierrevilus recorded double-doubles against Missouri Southern, Missouri Western and Truman State.
    In the first meeting with Central Oklahoma, Pitt State jumped out to a 45-22 halftime advantage but held on for a 81-70 win. Porter led Pitt State with 22 points, helped out by 5-for-7 3-point shooting and 7-9 free throws. Adams recorded a double-double — 17 points, 11 rebounds.
    At that point in the season, Central Oklahoma dropped to 1-6 overall, 0-1 MIAA.
    Since then, the Bronchos have gone 10-5 and their 9-5 conference mark currently places them fourth, behind only Washburn, Central Missouri and Fort Hays State.
    The Bronchos are led by Josh Gibbs, who has led Central Oklahoma in scoring four straight games, 12 of the last 13 and 15 games this season. His averages are 17.5 points and 6.4 rebounds, 19.6 and 6.4 in conference. Over his last four games, Gibbs averaged 22.5 points.
    Spencer Smith averages 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds.
    Head coaches Kevin Muff (Pitt State) and Terry Evans (Central Oklahoma) are veterans of the old Big Eight Conference.
    Muff played two seasons at Kansas State (1984-1986) under Jack Hartman and Evans started all four years at Oklahoma (1989-1993) for Billy Tubbs, where he became the school’s all-time leader in 3-pointers (259), 3-point attempts (698) and assists (651).
    Page 3 of 3 - Around the MIAA
    Despite the winter wonderland outside Thursday night, Washburn hosted Nebraska-Kearney in Topeka and Truman State hosted Lindenwood in Kirksville, Mo. Missouri Southern postponed its hoops doubleheader at home with Central Oklahoma to Monday, giving the Lions and Bronchos a busy final week. Southern plays Central Oklahoma twice next week (Monday and Saturday) and Pittsburg State on Wednesday in the jungle of Whetzel Court/John Lance Arena.
    The Lady Blues of Washburn defeated Nebraska-Kearney 69-51, behind a defense which helped cause the Lopers to shoot 27 percent from the floor and 18 points from Stormye Everett, 10 points from LaVonda McCall, nine rebounds from Sierra Moeller and seven assists from Laura Kinderknecht.
    Washburn improved to 20-3 overall, 14-1 MIAA and won its ninth straight outing, longest winning streak in the MIAA.
    The Washburn men, who dropped out of the top 25 national rankings on Tuesday, defeated Nebraska-Kearney 71-52 behind five players in double figures (Bobby Chipman 13 points, Will McNeill and Martin Mitchell 12, Kyle Wiggins 11 and Joseph Smith 10).
    McNeill put together an impressive game: 12 points, 10 assists, six rebounds, five steals, 4-8 shooting and 4-4 free throws.
    Do not draw the Truman State women this season at Pershing Arena. The Bulldogs (18-5, 11-4 MIAA) closed out an undefeated home regular season — 12-0 —Thursday with a 74-50 win over Lindenwood.
    Allie Norton dialed up five 3s for all 15 of her points and Becka McHenry added seven points, seven rebounds and seven assists on Senior Night. Truman State, the NCAA-II leader in 3-point percentage, upped its percentage to 42.7.
    The Lindenwood men won 81-71. Five Lions scored in double figures — Cody Sorenson game-high 19 points, Richie Thompson 15, Alex Bazzell 14, Brett Thompson 11 and Brandon Marquardt 11. Brett Thompson added a game-high 13 rebounds for a double-double and Bazzell dished out six assists.
    Mike Carlson led Truman State with his own double-double — 18 points, 10 rebounds.
    The first regional rankings were released Wednesday.
    Central (women): 1. Washburn, 2. Central Missouri, 3. Concordia-St. Paul, 4. Minnesota State, 5. Truman State, 6. Augustana, 7. Arkansas Tech, 8. Southwestern Oklahoma, 9. Northeastern State, 10. Fort Hays State.
    Central (men): 1. Winona State, 2. Minnesota State, 3. Augustana, 4. St. Cloud State, 5. Harding, 6. Central Missouri, 7. Arkansas Tech, 8. Fort Hays State, 9. Southwest Minnesota, 10. Upper Iowa.

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