PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg State men’s and women’s basketball teams face a pair of top teams in the MIAA Conference this week as they return to John Lance Arena for two home games.
On Wednesday, the Gorillas will face Missouri Western State with the women’s game tipping off at 5:30 p.m., with the men following. Pitt State wraps up the week facing the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats, with the women starting at 1:30 p.m.
The Griffons currently hold the top spot in the MIAA Women’s Standings with an 18-1 overall record and a 12-1 showing in the conference. The Bearcat men currently lead the MIAA with a 13-5 overall record and a 10-3 conference record.
The Pittsburg State women are 15-4 overall and 9-4 in the conference and are coming off a 77-63 win over the Lincoln Blue Tigers from this past weekend. The Gorilla women are riding a four-game winning streak with their latest loss coming in an 87-69 loss to Central Missouri earlier this month.
The Griffon women are shooting 49.6 percent from the floor and 38.7 percent in 3-pointers. At the free-throw line, they have made 329 of 448 shots for 73.4 percent and have 701 total rebounds.
LaQuinta Jefferson currently leads the team in scoring with 383 points (averaging 22.5), while Sarafina Handy has put up 281 points total.
Mhykeah Baez has totaled 100 rebounds.
For the Bearcat women, Tember Schechinger has scored 227 total points so far, while Tanya Meyer has put up 189.
Schechinger also leads the Bearcats in rebounds with 144.
The Griffons are coming off their first loss of the season, which was an 82-76 loss to the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers on Saturday.
The Gorilla women are shooting 43.4 percent from the field with sophomore Mikaela Burgess scoring 293 total points to lead the team.
The last meeting between the Gorilla women and the Griffons was an 83-75 loss in December, while the Gorillas defeated Northwest Missouri 72-56.
The Bearcats are coming off a 61-46 loss to the Fort Hays State Tigers.
The PSU men are 10-9 overall and 5-8 in the MIAA with an 11th-place showing in the conference standings right now. Their last game was a 68-63 loss to the Blue Tigers on Saturday on the road. Before that, they won their third game in the previous four with a 70-66 win over the Lindenwood Lions in St. Charles, Missouri.
The Missouri Western State men enter this week carrying a 6-13 overall record and a 4-9 showing in the MIAA. They are tied for 12th place in the conference standings. The Griffons’ last game was an 85-66 loss to the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers last week.
The Griffons are shooting 41.6 percent from the field and 32.5 percent from beyond the arc. As for free throws, the Griffons are shooting 73.4 percent and have a rebounding average of 35.4 per game.
Trey Sampson has scored 231 points so far this season, shooting 36.3 percent from the floor and 33.9 percent from 3-point land.
Aaron Emmanuel is the second-leading scorer on the team with 185 total points on 49.7 percent shooting from the field and 23.1 percent from 3-pointers.
Sampson is the leading free-throw shooter among the Griffons.
Kevin Thomas leads the Griffons in rebounds with 114 total.
The Bearcats are shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from 3-pointers.
Northwest Missouri is shooting 69 percent from the charity stripe and have totaled 592 rebounds this season.
Justin Pitts leads this team in scoring with 353 points total (20.8 per game), while Conner Crooker has compiled 233 points total so far.
Pitts is 51.7 percent from the field and also leads the team in free throws.
Chris-Ebou Ndow is the leader in rebounding with 109 total.
Northwest Missouri enters this week, coming off a 77-55 win at home against the Fort Hays State Tigers last week. They are currently riding a three game winning streak.
The Gorilla men have three players averaging double figures on the season, with junior guard Josiah Gustafson at 15.8 points per game, senior guard Trey Starks with 14.4 points per game and sophomore guard Dakota Jones  scoring 10.9 points per game.
The Gorillas’ last meeting with Missouri Western resulted in a 69-66 loss and followed it with a 73-48 loss to the Bearcats.
PSU defeated Northwest Missouri State twice last year with the latter being a 65-58 win in the MIAA Tournament.