PITTSBURG, Kan. —
Missouri Southern, just as it did seven years ago in the same arena, mounted a huge second-half comeback.
But this time, Pittsburg State converted key plays down the stretch and held off the Lions 94-91 Wednesday night before 2,177 emotionally drained fans at John Lance Arena.
The Gorillas (16-9, 9-8 MIAA) owned a 49-32 halftime advantage after shooting 50 percent from the field and dominating the rebounds 25-12.
“I thought we played really well first half,” PSU coach Kevin Muff said. “Focused defensively, I thought we were zoned in on how we needed to guard them. Then they showed the second half how really good they are offensively.”
The Lions (12-13, 7-10) ran off eight unanswered points in the first two minutes of the second half to cut the deficit to nine. The Gorillas regained a 12-point lead before the Lions pulled within 87-86 on Jordan Talbert’s putback with 57 seconds left.
A.J. Adams, who finished with 26 points, hit a 10-footer with 25 seconds left, but Marquis Addison made two free throws five seconds later.
Porter, the Gorillas’ freshman guard, drove the length of the floor and made an acrobatic left-handed layup as he was fouled. He added the free throw for a 92-88 lead with 15 seconds left.
“You don’t draw that up,” said. “Kids like that who are winners and come from programs that are winners, they want the ball in their hands at the end of the game and find a way to get it done.”
“We were supposed to foul him as soon as they passed out of the trap,” Lions coach Robert Corn said. “Our plan was to foul whoever got the ball, and why we didn’t foul, I don’t know. Then you definitely don’t want to foul when he’s to the basket and give him an opportunity to make the 2-plus-1.”
Missouri Southern’s Cameron Cornelius hit a 3 from the right corner with 8.9 seconds left, and the Lions had a chance to take the lead after Jake Bullard missed two free throws with 6.9 seconds to go.
Talbert got the rebound and passed to Addison. Addison never had good control of the ball and lost it while attempting to get between two Gorilla defenders, and Denton Hays came up with the ball.
“We were going to run one of our (late-game situation) plays but we didn’t get to do it because he missed the free throw,” Addison said. “I got doubled, had my head down and lost the ball. I never really got full control of it … and turned it over.”
“We had the guy with the basketball we wanted,” Corn said. “Marquis’ will to win this game is what carried us and got us back in the ball game. He’s our best player in that situation.”
Hays was fouled — the officials put 0.9 seconds on the clock after going to the review monitor – and he made both free throws – the second off the backboard as he attempted to miss it. Cornelius caught a pass near the Lions’ bench, but his shot went off the top of the backboard.
Addison tallied 29 points — 19 in the second half — to pace the Lions. Talbert and R.J. Leverette added 16 and 15, respectively.
Joining Adams in double figures for the Gorillas were Porter with 19, Marky Nolen and Rico Pierrevilus with 16 apiece and Bullard with 10.
The Lions shot 54 percent (15-of-28, including 8-of-12 from beyond the arc) in the second half after shooting 37 percent in the first half.
“We dug ourselves a pretty huge hole,” Talbert said. “We fought in the second half, just couldn’t finish it out. Once we got the nerves out … we started playing better basketball.”
“If we played with the same sense of urgency in the first half like we did the second half, then the outcome is probably different,” Corn said. “We knew it was going to be a physical game. We knew Pitt State was going to come out and be aggressive and we didn’t do a good job of matching that. They were definitely the tougher team and quicker to every loose ball and did whatever they wanted the first half.
“The second half I was proud of the way our guys came back and competed and gave ourselves a chance to win the ball game. We just didn’t get it done.”
PITTSBURG, Kan. —
- Pittsburg State Sports
PSU women, Northwest men win MIAA openers
The Northwest Missouri Bearcats used their shooting touch behind the lines — the foul line and 3-point line — to hold off Pittsburg State 75-59 in the MIAA opener for both teams on Thursday night.
Mueller named Pitt State volleyball coach
Growing up as the second oldest of five siblings — four of them girls — Jenny Mueller knew at an early age she was a good teacher.
Drought costs Gorillas at West Texas A&M
West Texas A&M held Pittsburg State without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes in the second half Saturday night and defeated the Gorillas 70-58 in the West Texas A&M Men’s Shootout.
Branch returns to lead Gorillas
Devon Branch scored 27 points and led Pittsburg State to an 86-84 victory Friday against Eastern New Mexico in the West Texas A&M Thanksgiving Shootout.
PSU women's basketball adds signees
Five high school players have signed letters of intent with Pittsburg State’s women’s basketball program.
Pitt State women win fourth straight
On a dismal day for shooting inside John Lance Arena, the Pittsburg State women were strong enough defensively to pick up their fourth straight win.
MSSU men 19th in national cross country meet; 2 All-Americans from PSU
Missouri Southern finished 19th among 32 teams in the NCAA Division II men’s cross country championships on Saturday at the Plantes Ferry Sports Complex.
PSU men register first victory
The Pittsburg State Gorillas men’s basketball team outscored Bethany College 60-39 in the second half en route to a 108-77 win during the Pitt State Classic on Friday night at John Lance Arena.
PSU volleyball coach Suberu retires
Long-time Pittsburg State volleyball coach Ibraheem Suberu announced his retirement on Thursday.
PSU volleyball adds three to recruiting class
Pittsburg State volleyball added three to its recruiting class on Wednesday — Cassidy Barnard, Aryana Crittleton and Chandler Templin.
- More Pittsburg State Sports Headlines
- PSU women, Northwest men win MIAA openers