By Ryan Atkinson
Globe Sports Writer
Pittsburg State junior guard Alexa Bordewick said the Gorillas have had a chance to strengthen their team bond between semesters.
With the holiday break and no classes to worry about, she said the Gorillas have been able to “lock down” their team chemistry.
That was apparent on Saturday.
Bordewick scored a career-high 20 points, Lauren Brown set a school record with 22 rebounds and Pitt State rolled past visiting Northwest Missouri 76-47 at John Lance Arena.
“We’ve talked from the beginning about how we have all the pieces on this team but when you lose seniors who were very good role players and leaders, it takes time to develop that chemistry,” Pitt State coach Lane Lord said. “We’re starting to see some signs of us playing together.”
While the win — which moved Pitt State to 9-3 overall and 3-1 in the MIAA — was a team effort, Brown stole the show.
The 6-foot-6 senior came into the day averaging just 16 minutes per game. But an injury to fellow post player Kyle Gafford put added pressure on Brown.
She responded with an eight-point, 22-rebound performance in 32 minutes. Her 20th rebound, at the 3:30 mark, broke the previous school record.
“Early defense, basically,” was the key in grabbing all those boards, Brown said. “Just getting there before the other player does, x-step and redirecting them.
“I didn’t even think about (the record). I just wanted to keep going and keep that lead we had.”
Brown grabbed 17 defensive rebounds and dished out a pair of assists.
“We needed Lauren to play at least 25 minutes today and all she did was play 32,” Lord said. “I couldn’t be more proud of her and what she did for us today.”
Bordewick hit 7 of her 12 shots, including 4 of 8 treys, and scored a game-high 20 points, topping her previous career-best of 16 points.
“I’ve been struggling this season, but I think it’s coming back now,” she said.
Pitt State led by 12 at the break and steadily built on that lead throughout the second half.
The Gorillas hit 29 field goals and finished with 18 assists, including five each from Lizzy Jeronimus (who also added 14 points) and Drew Roberts (10 points.)
“When you look out there and all five players on your team have touched the ball on one possession, that’s pretty awesome,” Lord said. “We were moving the ball, getting it to the middle against that zone and then making good decisions.”
Northwest (8-4, 2-2) was led by Tember Schechinger’s 13 points.