PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg State basketball teams split a pair of non-conference games on Saturday, as the men’s team won 112-53 at home against Central Christian College of the Bible while the Gorilla women lost 82-75 on the road against Emporia.
GORILLA MEN ROLL SAINTS
Everything was working for the Pitt State men’s team in the 112-53 win over Central Christian College inside John Lance Arena.
Scoring against the short-handed Saints wasn’t an issue for the Gorillas, as they went 14-30 from beyond the arc and 41-69 from the floor in the win.
“We really wanted to do a good job of moving the basketball,” PSU head coach Kim Anderson said. “They played a lot of zone so it was a little different for us, but I thought we adjusted after a while. We passed the ball a lot, but I think we settled for too many 3-pointers instead of taking the ball to the basket early on.”
The Gorillas’ victory was highlighted by Jabari Antwine, who recorded the first triple-double in school history with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
“Jabari is a guy who really knows how to play,” Anderson said. “He shoots the ball well and sees the floor well. It was a tremendous performance. I didn’t realize he was that close to the triple-double until close to the end of the game, so we left him in to get last rebound and assist. I was happy for him.”
Pittsburg State set the tone in the first half, scoring the first 11 points of the contest en route to mounting a 51-27 lead at the half.
The Gorillas then coasted to the win in the second half, outscoring the Saints 61-26.
“I think our chemistry has gotten better and we understand what we need to do in order to win,” Anderson said. “We’ve played two teams who, quite candidly, we should beat. Now, we’re going to get ready for MIAA action and we expect it to be tough. I’m hoping these games helped us, but we have a lot of work to do before Wednesday.”
GORILLA WOMEN STUMBLE ON THE ROAD
An overtime thriller went in favor of Emporia State on Saturday, as the Hornets defeated the Gorilla women 82-75 at home on Saturday.
ESU overcame an early double-digit deficit with late rally to force overtime and took control in the final five minutes, outscoring Pitt State 12-5 to earn the comeback win.
The Gorillas jumped out to a quick 21-13 lead in the first quarter, but found themselves trailing by three with two minutes remaining in regulation.
After a layup by Paige Imhoff pulled PSU to within one, Athena Alvarado went to the line for a pair of free throws with three seconds left.
Alvarado missed the first, but made the second to tie the score at 70-all and force overtime.
The Hornets quickly ended all drama, holding the Gorillas to five points in the final five minutes of the contest.
Mikaela Burgess was the leading scorer for Pitt State with 16 points, six rebounds and one assist.
Madison Northcutt came in close behind with 11 points, while her teammates Imhoff and Alvarado put up 10 points apiece.
Both Pitt State teams will be in town on Wednesday to take on Missouri Western, with the women’s team set to tip off at 5:30 p.m. followed by the men’s team at 7:30 p.m.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.