The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Pittsburg State Sports

January 20, 2013

Gorillas post sweep over Fort Hays State

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Coming off two consecutive losses on the road, the Pittsburg State Gorillas looked to bounce back at home.

The Gorillas responded with a much-needed 72-69 victory over Fort Hays State on Saturday at John Lance Arena, snapping an eight-game losing streak to the Tigers.

Doing so was no easy task, however.

Trailing 71-69, the Tigers looked to take the game into overtime as Lance Russell curled to the basket for a lay-up attempt with 2.2 seconds. But the shot missed, and PSU’s Courtney Ingram made 1-of-2 free throws.

Gorilla forward JaVon McGee led all scorers with 22 points, going 9-for-15 from the field. PSU guard Marky Nolen added 16 points and eight rebounds.

Four Tigers — Russell (21), Craig Nicholson (15), Dwayne Brunson (14) and Ben Congiusta (11) — scored in double figures. However, only eight points came from the Fort Hays bench.

Pittsburg State (12-4 overall, 5-3 MIAA) closed out the first half on a 15-2 run to erase a 13-point deficit.

The Gorillas began to slow down a Fort Hays attack that opened on fire. The Tigers took a 33-20 lead at the 3:30 mark of the first half after opening the game with five 3-pointers.

Fort Hays State (10-5, 4-3 MIAA) shot 42.9 percent from the field in the first half but only 34.4 percent in the second.

In the second half, Pitt State used a 12-3 run to take a 67-58 advantage with 3:41 to go. The Tigers rallied with an 8-0 run to make it 67-66 with 1:44 left.

The Gorillas will return to the road Wednesday as they face Northeastern State at 7:30 p.m. in Tallequah, Okla.


Fort Hays State sophomore center Kate Lehman entered Saturday’s game among the MIAA leaders in scoring and field goal percentage.

However, Pittsburg State’s interior defense limited Lehman to 2-of-15 shooting from the field for four points as the Gorillas mustered a conference victory Saturday at John Lance Arena.

Pitt State’s Lizzy Jeronimus, the MIAA’s leading scorer, was limited to 13 points in the low-scoring affair. Morgan Westhoff came off the bench to lead the Gorillas with 14 points.

The Pittsburg State (12-4 overall, 6-2 MIAA) bench outscored the Gorilla starters 26-25.

The Gorilla defense held Fort Hays to 22 percent from the field.

Fort Hays State dropped to 11-4 overall and 3-4 in the MIAA.

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