PITTSBURG — An up-and-down night for the Pittsburg State basketball teams saw the Gorillas earn a split against Emporia on Wednesday, with the women’s team losing 78-66 and the men winning 87-67.
GORILLA MEN BLOW OUT HORNETS
It was all Gorillas in game two of the night, as the PSU men’s team earned a wire-to-wire victory over the Hornets 87-67.
The Gorillas hit the ground running, out scoring the Hornets 11-5 in the opening five minutes of the contest en route to mounting a double-digit lead and cruising to their 11th win of the season.
“I think we built on that game against Lindenwood and we played very well tonight, especially in the first half,” PSU head coach Kim Anderson said. “We shot the ball well and did a good job defensively on them. We gave up too many offensive rebounds, but I was really proud of the way our guys stepped up. We’re still battling injuries, so we just have to keep plugging away.”
Deitrich Cole lifted Pitt State to the early lead, as he posted six consecutive points in the first few possessions.
The Gorillas went on to make it a 10-point lead on the strength of a 10-2 run which was highlighted by four points from Demetrius Levarity.
Pittsburg State began running away with it after scoring 10 consecutive points near the end of the first half and beginning the second with 9-2 run which pushed the lead to 20 points.
The Gorillas coasted to the end of the game, out scoring the Hornets 48-42 in the second half.
Jabari Antwine and Xavier Adams led the Gorillas in scoring with 20 points apiece.
HORNETS STING GORILLA WOMEN
Shooting was a struggle for the Pittsburg State women’s team, going 38.9% from the field and 20-30 from the free throw line in the 78-66 loss to the ESU in game one of the night.
A back-and-forth affair swung in favor of the Hornets in the second half, as they expanded a two-point lead to a eight by the end of the third quarter before going on to earn a double-digit victory.
“I thought we did a good job guarding Tyra Jones early in the game,” PSU head coach Lane Lord said. “She ended up with five points, and if you would have told me that before the game, I thought we would have won. You just really have to credit Emporia because their role players stepped up.”
A 3-pointer by Mikaela Burgess got the Gorillas going, as they jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead to begin the contest.
ESU went on tie the game at 18-all at the two-minute mark of the first quarter, but the Gorillas regained the lead at 23-21 at the end of the opening 10 minutes on a layup from Madison Northcutt.
The lead changed hands 12 times throughout the second quarter, before Emporia took a two-point advantage following four consecutive points to close out the first half.
PSU stayed within striking distance in the second half, but couldn’t keep pace, as the Gorillas were outscored 19-14 in the third and fourth quarters.
Paige Imhoff and Burgess led the Gorillas on the offensive end, each contributing 17 points apiece.
Madison Northcutt nearly finished with a double-double, recording 11 points and nine rebounds.
The Gorillas will host Washburn at 1:30 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.