KEARNEY, Neb. — The Pittsburg State women’s basketball team bounced back from Saturday’s loss to Fort Hays State with a 65-58 road win over the Nebraska Kearney Lopers Monday.
With the game featuring both teams outscoring each other in opposing quarter, the Gorillas used a powerful fourth quarter to seal the win, outdueling the Lopers 26-14 to improve to 11-3 overall and 5-3 in the MIAA.
“The last five or six minutes were huge for us,” said Pittsburg State head coach Lane Lord in his post game comments with Eddie Lomshek of KKOW. “This was a huge win for us.”
The Gorillas, who had lost twice in their last four games, were led by senior Kylie Gafford. She scored 19 points, going 7 of 9 on field goals and 5 for 6 from the free-throw line.
Junior Paige Lungwitz scored 12 points, going 4 for 8 from the field and 1 for 2 on 3-pointers.
“I’m so happy for Paige. She gives us so much effort, and it was good to see her effort pay off,” Lord said.
PSU went 21 for 53 (39.6 percent) from the field, while shooting 5 for 17 from the outside and 18 of 20 at the stripe.
McKenzie Brown put up 14 points on 5 of 10 shooting to lead the Lopers. She was 2 of 4 on 3-pointers in the loss.
Bri Starks shot 6 for 8 on field goals for 12 total points, while Laramey Becker and Alexa Hogberg both put up eight points.
Nebraska Kearney (6-7, 2-5 in the MIAA) shot 39.7 percent from the floor and 22.2 percent from the outside.
Sophomore Mikaela Burgess, who was starting for the first time since the Gorillas’ game against Emporia State in December, posted eight points on two-of-nine shooting. She had a pair of 3-pointers on the evening.
“Mikaela was unselfish and made some great free throws late in the fourth. We needed a bounce back win,” Lord said.
Senior Cathy Brugman scored 10 points on three-of-nine shooting and was perfect from the stripe, going 4 for 4.
Junior Hadyn Herlocker was also perfect from the line, 2 for 2, making a pair of 3-pointers for eight points total.
“It’s huge. We spent a lot of time watching film and getting our young players to understand what our philosophy is. I thought our freshmen did a good job tonight,” Lord said.
The win caps off a two-game road trip for the Gorillas, who played at Fort Hays State prior to traveling to Nebraska.
Pitt State's next game will be at home on Thursday against Central Missouri.
“This was a long road trip. I can’t wait for us to get back home,” Lord said.
Michael Bauer is a sports reporter for the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on twitter at @michaeljohn391.