The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

December 18, 2013

Late heroics give Gorillas nonconference sweep

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Thanks to late heroics from Jake Bullard and Alexa Bordewick, Pittsburg State swept a nonconference basketball doubleheader on Wednesday night at John Lance Arena.

Bullard flirted with a triple-double as the Gorillas held on down the stretch to beat West Texas A&M 85-79 in the opening men’s game.

Jeronimus hit a 3-pointer at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime, and the Gorillas dominated the extra five minutes for a 75-66 victory over Truman State.

Pittsburg State has another home twinbill on Saturday afternoon against MIAA foe Southwest Baptist. Tipoff is 1:30 for the women’s game.

PSU men, 85-79

Bullard, sophomore guard from Vinita, Okla., collected 20 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists as the Gorillas (4-4) avenged a loss to the Buffaloes last month in Canyon, Texas.

The Gorillas, ahead 43-37 at halftime, scored the first six points of the second half to take their biggest lead. But the Buffaloes (6-4) closed within one point twice in the last 2 1/2 minutes — the last time at 80-79 on Dimir Ferguson’s layup with 1:28 left. Ferguson was fouled on the play but missed the free throw that would have tied the game.

Two possessions later, Bullard drove for a layup to give the Gorillas a three-point lead. Devon Branch then made a steal, and he eventually sank 3-of-4 free throws in the last 21 seconds to increase the lead.

Branch, who was plagued by foul trouble in the second half, finished with 19 points, and Josiah Gustafson also reached double figures with 10 points.

Keon Pledger scored 23 points to lead the Buffaloes, and Ferguson and David Duncan added 16 points apiece.

PSU women, 75-66

Pittsburg State (7-3), after owning a five-point halftime lead, trailed 60-56 after Truman State’s Allie Norton made two free throws with 13 seconds left.

The Gorillas got the ball upcourt quickly and pulled within two on Brigit Hesser’s layup with eight seconds to play. Norton was fouled again, and she made the front end of a two-shot foul for a three-point lead with six seconds left. The miss by Norton was just her second in 20 attempts this season.

Cathy Brugman rebounded Norton’s missed free throw, and Bordewick nailed a 28-footer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. The Gorillas were just 3-of-19 from beyond the arc for the game.

Lizzy Jeronimus scored just four seconds into overtime, and the Gorillas never relinquished the lead. The Gorillas’ lead was just two points until Jeronimus scored eight points in just 45 seconds on two three-point plays and two free throws to open a 75-65 lead with one minute left.

Jeronimus finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Gorillas, and Morgan Westhoff had 16 points.

Nicole Gloor had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulldogs (6-3), and Amy Briggs added 13 points.

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